Open main menu

Tucking Mill is a small hamlet within the parish of Monkton Combe, Somerset, England. It lies on Midford Brook and was a key point on the now disused Somerset Coal Canal.

Tucking Mill
Tucking Mill - - 1174084.jpg
Tucking Mill is located in Somerset
Tucking Mill
Tucking Mill
Tucking Mill shown within Somerset
OS grid referenceST767615
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBATH
Postcode districtBA2
Dialling code01225
PoliceAvon and Somerset
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°21′11″N 2°20′10″W / 51.353°N 2.336°W / 51.353; -2.336Coordinates: 51°21′11″N 2°20′10″W / 51.353°N 2.336°W / 51.353; -2.336

It is at the southern end of the Two Tunnels Greenway which follows the disused railway trackbed of the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway from East Twerton through the Bath suburb of Oldfield Park to the Devonshire Tunnel, emerging into Lyncombe Vale before entering the Combe Down Tunnel, and then coming out to cross Tucking Mill Viaduct into Midford.[1]

There is also a small reservoir, which is now a fishery for the disabled.[2]


William Smith's homeEdit

From 1798 until 1810 Tucking Mill was the home of William Smith, an English geologist, credited with creating the first nationwide geological map.[3] He is known as the "Father of English Geology" for collating the geological history of England and Wales into a single record. He worked on the Somerset coalfield and the Somerset Coal Canal. There is a plaque on Tucking Mill Cottage saying that it was Smith's home, which was erected in 1888, on the mill which was demolished in 1927, and the tablet was mislaid. When the plaque was rediscovered in the 1930s the Geological Society of London and the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution placed it on the 18th century cottage,.[4][5] However, it is now believed that he actually lived in the nearby Tucking Mill House.[6][7][8] During his occupation he built a small railway to transport stone from a quarry at Kingham Field, Combe Down to the canal.[9]

Fuller's earth factoryEdit

From 1883 until the end of World War II it was the site of a fuller's earth factory. George Dames and his brother Charles Richard Dames set up a mine in Horsecombe Vale. At the bottom of the valley was the pan grinding works where water from Horsecombe Brook was used to make a slurry from which sand settled at the bottom of troughs. The slurry then passed through an earthenware pipe to Tucking Mill, where a second stage of sedimentation took place in large troughs where it settled for up to 30 days. Once the water had been drained by sluices the damp caked earth was carried in wooden trams to kilns where it was dried for three to four days. The product was used in the oil refining and pharmaceutical industries. The original uses in woollen production no longer used fuller's earth. A railway siding at Midford railway station was built specifically to load fuller's earth.[10]



  1. ^ "Two Tunnels Greenway, Bath". Explore. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  2. ^ "Tucking Mill". wessex Water. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Tucking Mill, Pilgrimage to Smith of the Rocks". Bath Daily Photo. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Tucking Mill Cottage". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  5. ^ "William Smith". Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Tucking Mill House". Images of England. English Heritage.
  7. ^ Simon Winchester, The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, (2001), New York: Harper Collins, ISBN 0-14-028039-1, pp. 103-104
  8. ^ "John Strachey, William Smith, and the Strata of England, 1719-1801". The Geological Society. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  9. ^ "William Smith's Tucking Mill to Kingham Quarry Tramway". The Somersetshire Coal Canal (Society). Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  10. ^ Macmillen, Neil (2009). A History of the Fuller's Earth Mining Industry Around Bath. Lydney: Lightmoor Press. pp. 33–52. ISBN 978-1-899889-32-7.