Chew Magna, an ancient settlement dating from Saxon times, lies in the Chew Valley, 15 miles from Bath.
From 1062 to 1548, when the manor of Chew was held by the Bishops of Bath and Wells, the village was called Episcopi Chew or Bishop's Chew.
In the Middle Ages the village became a thriving woollen centre. From around 1600 the settlement became known as Chew Magna, since it was the most important of a number of villages sited along the banks of the River Chew.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the wool industry declined and today Chew Magna is a dormitory area for Bristol and Bath.
The village has many listed buildings and was designated a conservation area in 1978. St Andrew's Church, dating from the 12th century, has a large 15th century sandstone tower. Chew Court, next to the church, stands on the site of the Bishop's palace.
To the south of the village is the Tun Bridge, dating from the 15th century. This medieval structure, with three pointed arches, spans 60 ft over the River Chew. The bridge is approached by one of the raised pavements that are a feature of Chew Magna.
Located just on the northern edge of the Mendip Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Chew Magna is also a tourist destination. The creation of the Chew Valley Lake to the south of the village in the 1950s created further opportunities for tourism and leisure.
Chew Valley Lake
Chew Valley, the 5th largest artificial lake in the UK, lies in the Chew Valley at the northern edge of the Mendip Hills. Nearby are the villages of Chew Stoke and Chew Magna. The reservoir was created in the early 1950s to provide drinking water for Bristol and the surrounding area.
Today the relatively shallow lake, surrounded by reed beds, is an extremely important area for wildlife and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). The lake is a prominent bird-watching site. Over 260 types of birds have been recorded here including some rare species.
There are two nature trails and there are also two landscaped picnic areas, a cafe, information centre and shop. Activies allowed around the lake including dinghy sailing and fishing.
HorseWorld 3.8 miles HorseWorld is 3 miles south of Bristol. Formed in 1952, HorseWorld is a charity dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing horses, ponies and donkeys in need.
Hot Air Balloons 5.6 miles Bristol is the capital of hot-air ballooning. Cameron Balloons, the largest hot-air balloon manufacturer in the world, is based at Bedminster in Bristol.
SV Tangaroa Trips 5.6 miles This beautiful wooden sailing ship is moored near the ss Great Britain.
CREATE Centre and Ecohome 5.6 miles CREATE is located in a former bonded warehouse on the Cumberland Basin at the entrance to the famous Floating Harbour.The vibrant environment centre showcases art, events and exhibitions to promote sustainable living.
Spike Island Art Centre 5.6 miles A major art studio complex.
Paintworks 5.7 miles Paintworks is Bristol's new creative quarter.
Bristol Records Office 5.6 miles The Bristol Records Office is located in a former bonded warehouse on the Cumberland Basin at the entrance to the Floating Harbour. Housed in this vast building are the city historic archives, detailing 800 years of Bristol history.
M Shed 5.7 miles An exciting new museum opened in 2011, shows the history of the city.
Ashton Court Estate 5.7 miles Ashton Court, two miles from the centre of Bristol, was once the home of the Symth family. Since 1959 it has been owned by Bristol City Council and its park is now a recreational area.
Arnos Court Triumphal Arch 5.7 miles Constructed from Bath stone, this Gothic arch was built in around 1760 for William Reeve,a wealthy Quaker and businessman. The architect, James Bridges, was also responsible for the new Bristol Bridge.
The Tobacco Factory 5.3 miles In part of the old Wills Tobacco site is this performing arts centre.
Picture-This 5.6 miles Located on Spike Island on Bristol Harbourside, Picture-This is a moving image projects agency. The agency commissions contemporary visual arts works and arranges exhibitions, publications and touring initiatives.
Towns Near Chew Magna To Visit - straight line distance:Chew Stoke (1.36 miles) Bristol Airport (4.28 miles) Keynsham (5.90 miles) Paulton (6.14 miles)