Roadwater by Barbara Cook, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Roadwater is a sheltered and pleasant place to stay for the night, sitting in one of the Brendon’s deep wooded valleys, at the junction of streams. It is a quiet overnight spot, with walker friendly rooms at the pub The Valiant Soldier and, despite its remote location, Roadwater is a thriving place, with a very good village shop and an active Community Hall.
Roadwater prospered during the 18th Century when several mills were set up along the Washford River, one of which survives at Manor Mills. The boom time came during the 19th century when the West Somerset Mineral Railway was built through the valley to carry iron ore out from the higher Brendon Hills, above at Raleigh Cross Mine, out to the coast at Watchet. You can still see signs of the railway in the village, the old station is now a private house and some of the old goods sheds still stand, although the tracks were lost when they were requisitioned by the War Office in the First World War for use in the war effort! Getting the ore out of the hills was a real feat of engineering and part of the line was so steep that one section was cable operated from a winding house. It may have disappeared now, but the echoes of the past are still here with the active Mineral Line Club based at the village hall.
Leaving the village on the Coleridge Way, watch out for the disguised World War 2 pillbox, made to look like a garden summer house, where underneath its pitched roof cover you can still see the gun slits.