About Our Range

The Club’s rifle ranges and clubhouse are located in the disused Williton Quarry, accessed by a single-track laneway from the south side of Bridge Street close to its junction with Tower Hill. The quarry provided most of the stone used in the construction of Williton during the 19th and early 20th centuries but ceased production after the 1st World War.

The site extends considerably beyond the area presently occupied by the ranges and clubhouse. The lower, eastern end is now natural deciduous woodland and forms an undisturbed haven for wildlife. The southern boundary is a vertical quarry face rising in places over 50 feet from the present quarry floor level. It is screened by a number of large mature trees. The east and west boundaries are also quarry faces rising from ground level to around 50 feet in height, similarly screened by trees. The north boundary is defined by a steep bank dropping over 15 feet to the level of the adjacent gardens of properties to the rear of the Methodist Church in Tower Hill and is screened within the range boundary by a dense line of natural, mostly hazel, woodland.

Prior to the 2nd World War the Local Defence Volunteers (later the Home Guard) established the original rifle range as a 90-yard full-bore range. After the war, the western half of the quarry was leased to the Williton Branch of the Royal British Legion to use as a small-bore target rifle club and as a location for a Legion meeting room. The eastern half of the quarry was used by the local scout troop as an outdoor activity area. At that time the quarry and access track were owned by, and leased from, the Wyndham Estate. The existing clubhouse dates from that immediate post-war period with some later minor additions and modifications. This largely timber building is now in extremely poor condition and in urgent need of replacement. The ranges comprise one of 25 yards with 6 indoor firing positions and one of 50 metres with 5 outdoor firing positions. There are small butts buildings at the remote end of each range. The outdoor 50-metre range has not been regularly used for several years because it is not practical in wet weather making it difficult to schedule events.

The Scouts ceased use of the eastern end of the quarry in the 1980's and the Rifle Club's lease was then extended to include the whole area, which allowed the construction, at that time, of the 50-metre range. The Rifle Club ceased to be directly connected to the Williton Branch of the British Legion some years ago but continues to report its activities to the Branch and enjoys their support. At present Club members shoot on four or five evenings each week and occasional weekends. The Club competes locally against Minehead & District Rifle Club in a league established some 60 years ago by the then editor of the West Somerset Free Press. Additionally the Club and its members compete very successfully at both County and National levels.

In 2008 Club members raised sufficient funds to allow the purchase from the Wyndham Estate of the freehold of the entire quarry together with the access lane, thus safeguarding the Club's future on the site.

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