Gordano Civic Society

Founded 1956

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Power Stations

Portishead used to have two coal fired power stations which once dominated the landscape. The first, Portishead A was built in 1929 and the second, Portishead B in 1955. The last remains – the chimneys – were demolished in 1992.


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Portishead and the Gordano area have a fascinating history from Domesday Book times through to Victorian docks, railways and industry.

Local History

About Portishead

Portishead has a brief mention in the Domesday Book of 1086, but settlements in the area go back to the Iron Age. At the heart of the town is the Victorian High Street. There are 37 listed buildings in the area.

Docks and Industry

The docks were built in the 19th century and various industries grew up around them. The docks are now a marina

and the petroleum and phosphorus plants and the timber wharfs are gone.


Petroleum industry >>


Phosphorus industry >>


More about local history >>

Portishead’s two railways

The first was the branch line from Bristol, which is currently closed to passenger traffic, but expected to reopen in 2020.

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The second railway was the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Light Railway which connected the three towns from 1907 until 1940.

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For more local history see Posset Pieces

North Somerset Historic Environment Record:


An interactive map showing listed buildings, archaeological sites, conservation areas, historic landscape identification and much more, for all of North Somerset. An excellent resource worth exploring.

To use: zoom into the area you are interested in, and tick the appropriate white box(es) on the map legend. Click the + symbol to expand the Archaeological sites and Historic landscape characterisation categories as required.


Society Interpretation Boards >>