Early 19th century quarrying exposed evidence of very early occupation, with flint tools and animal bones found in a small cave indicating habitation 40,000 years ago.
Uphill’s position on the coast gives a clue to its growth. Though hard evidence is scant, it seems the Romans may well have used Uphill as a port for moving lead from their mines at Charterhouse. It was the Mediaeval monks of Glastonbury who changed the local landscape forever with the construction of flood defence dykes and drainage ditches, turning the River Axe into an important inland waterway.
The oldest building to survive the ravages of time stands defiantly on the hilltop. The old Church of St Nicholas, built just after the Norman Conquest of 1066, may be on the site of an earlier Saxon church.
The grandest house in Uphill is the ‘castle’, though it is by no means the oldest nor is it genuinely defendable. Built in 1805 as a school, it was acquired in 1825 by Thomas Knyfton who added the Gothic design features.
The oldest domestic building is Uphill Farm, probably late 16th Century. Sandcroft Cottages, Rose Cottage, Park Cottage and the superbly restored Old Schoolhouse complete with thatched roof are all surviving examples of Uphill’s rural past and the Coastguard Cottages remind us of the illicit trade in spirits and tobacco which went on hereabouts.
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