This film is part of Free
Pure tranquillity in rural Somerset, a world away from the war raging on the continent.
Travelogue 1916 1 mins Silent
Breathtaking views of the famous Gorge transport viewers of this mid-WWI travelogue to a rural idyll apparently untouched by the anguish of war. Intrepid visitors ascend the 275 steps of Jacob's Ladder before clambering up the lookout tower to appreciate the view towards Glastonbury Tor. For the less adventurous, the film also takes in the fine medieval stone cross which marks Cheddar's marketplace, and a gentle stroll along the bottom of the ravine.
The intertitles claim the lookout tower was used to send signals in times of "national danger". As you might expect in this corner of Somerset, though, there is a more colourful explanation. Exploration of the Gorge began in the mid-19th century, with tourists keen to see the newly opened caves. Roland Pavey, a mill owner and local character who built his own show cave to capitalise on this curiosity, put up the original wooden lookout as late as 1900, naming it the 'Mystic Tower'. The current iron replica continues to cater to tourists, rather than defend against invading hordes.
1916 on Film
Shower Baths in the Trenches
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent
A humble scrub is all it takes to get these French troops in a lather.
Tests from Aeroplanes
Non-Fiction 1916 13 mins Silent Location: Chingford
Developing the lifebelt of the air - or "how the stranglehold demon was exorcised"
Devonshire Hospital Buxton
Non-Fiction 1916 2 mins Silent Location: Buxton
Rheumatic soldiers are treated with the latest in hydrotherapy at the Devonshire Hospital in Buxton, Derbyshire.
In the Interests of Mercy
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent Location: Croydon
Firepower and fancy dress as a captured German field gun is the focus of a parade through Croydon to mark Red Cross Week.
Topical Budget 245-1
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Location: Kensington and Chelsea
Brass bands, bicycles and marching special constables outside the Albert Hall for a Sunday presentation before Bishop John Taylor-Smith outside the Albert Hall.
Palm Sunday Celebrations
Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent Location: Westminster
Palms and fanfare ahead of Easter - a salient event in the Christian calendar is captured with crisp clarity.
The Way to the West
Travelogue 1947 17 mins Silent Location: Cheddar Gorge
Hitchcock went the wrong way! Head south by southwest with this travelogue from Bath to Cornwall.
The Taylor Family Days Out
Home movie 1959 35 mins Silent Location: Mundesley
In 1959, the extended Taylor family head to the Norfolk coast every Sunday for picnics and a lark about.
John Laing & Son Staff Outings 1953
Amateur film 1953 67 mins Silent Location: Llandudno
The builders of some of Britain's biggest landmarks go on a jolly to celebrate the Queen's coronation year.
Where the Cheese Comes From
Travelogue 1926 12 mins Silent Location: Glastonbury
Blessed are the cheesemakers of Somerset in this tour of Cheddar and nearby Glastonbury.
One Summer in Somerset
Travelogue 1968 19 mins Location: Weston-super-Mare
Hitch a ride with a glamorous blonde in a convertible sports car, and take a spin around the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare and its surroundings.
Travelogue 1930 9 mins Silent Location: Cheddar Gorge
A stencil-coloured journey through gorgeous gorges, picturesque villages and spa town pomp in this West Country travelogue made circa 1930.
Comedy 1919 35 mins Silent
A protective father masquerades as an automatic doll in this bonkers interwar comedy.
Spirit of Mayday
1937 11 mins Silent
May Day – a significant day for the labour movement – is covered by the cameras of the Film and Photograph League.
Cornelius Cardew 1936-1981
Performance 1986 55 mins
An exploration of the life and work of the controversial British composer.
1935 9 mins
Let it bleed? This exemplary education film gets to the heart of the matter.
U.A.B. (Workers Newsreel No.3)
Non-Fiction 1935 12 mins Silent
Punchy political film capturing mass protests against unemployment.
The Merry Month of May
1937 15 mins Silent
A spirited satire on the coronation of George VI made by members of the Film and Photograph League.