The old Somerset industry where workers were paid to drink

Once one of Nailsea’s biggest employers: the town’s glassworks. And while the city’s glass industry is long gone, it is not forgotten with remnants of its existence still lingering.

The Glassworks opened in 1788 and is owned and operated by industrialist John Robert Lucas. Lucas saw the potential of readily available coal in the Nailsea area and opened Glassworks just off Nailsea Heath, the village’s common land.

The location of the Glassworks in this area led to the development of this part of Nailsea as the industrial heart of the town, and eventually led to the relocation of the center of the village from the medieval base of Holy Trinity Church to the northeast. from the city. village. The location was ideal due to the availability of coal for the kilns of the glass cones and the lime and sand necessary to manufacture the glass itself.

READ MORE: The historic remains that tell the story of Nailsea’s ‘forgotten’ coal mining past

However, it was a remote and inaccessible site. The turnpike to Bristol, today the A370, was two miles away accessed by a country lane, and the road through Wraxall was just a rough track.

This meant that the glass produced had to be very carefully wrapped and transported for sale in Bristol. Finally, when the railway opened, glass was shipped by rail from Nailsea and Backwell station.

Two Glass Cones were built, specialized in different products. One was for crown window glass and the other was for glass bottles.


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