Documentary Research in progress
updated 29 August 2007
Site book, interim report, press cuttings and photographs for
excavations at Friarn Street and West Quay, Bridgwater. 1983-1984
Cellars inside Friarn Lawn on Stone Foundations. In Cutting B SW wall to The
Friars located. Arches collapsing into the cellars. Limit of machine dig was
2.7 m. Finds: few but SF1 was a "chamfered column stone".
T/PH/bw.1 "Tithe Map" ca. 1884 (actually Town Plan in Reports of Property Committee)
Plots 424 and 425 (latter to S of Durleigh Brook) or 423 not part of the property of the Borough of Bridgwater in 1835.
Bridgwater Borough plans. Friarn Fields Housing Scheme; site plan
and compulsory order for Friarn Lawn. 1934 [not yet examined}
Westfield United Reform Church archives D\N\bw.wur/1/1/2
Deeds relating to the Friarn Street Chapel.
Indenture the (i) Rev. Thomas Tatton of Bridgwater and Robert
Codrington of Bridgwater, gent to (ii) the Rev. John Hey of Bristol, the
Rev. Richard Herdsman of South Petherton, James Ingram of Bristol, sugar
baker, James Clark of Redcliffe Street, Bristol, grocer, Peter Hicks of
Bristol, shoemaker, Thomas Pope of Marlborough Street, Bristol, carpenter,
James Tod of Castle Street, Bristol, breaches maker, William Green of Bath,
minister, Thomas Earl of Wells, millwright, George Nikels of Wells, gent
and John Dampier of Kingsdon, gent, of a house, now a Chapel on Friarn
Street, 8 Dec 1792; deed of trust with same parties as in lease, 9 Dec
messuage or tenement situated on the south [inserted over North,
crossed out] side of Fryern Street wheron a malt house lately stood a
meeting [sic] for diving worship .... the same shall always continue
for that purpose. The said messuage or tenement yard garden & premises ....
[conveying] All that messuage or tenement now divided into two
tenements malthouse now converted .... worship of Protestant Dissenters
aforesaid yard and gardens being one burgage siruate standing and being on
the south side of Fryern Street heretofore in the possession of Richard
Boothby [with all rights including courts].
Also Lease from Robert Codrington for one year to Thomas Tatton two
tenements and malthouse now converted .. one burgage on the south side of
Documents stamped 1871
Bargain and sale of a Chapel. 1819
All that Chapel or meeting house situated in Bridgwater in which the
Reverend Joseph Corp now officiates also those cottages or dwelling house
Document stamped 1871
Church History and Roll 1822 - 1877
Contains Abstract of Title to Sion Chapel and Premises (recites /1 mentions
Chapel and Cottages or Dwellinghouse)
In Origin "About 30 years since a Malt House on the spot of land on which
the present Chapel now stands"
Note: suggests continued occupation of the site since 1792, and not an
earlier chapel in Roper's Lane given in secondary sources.
The follows a long list of names on the Church Roll.
Ledger Sion Chapel 1823 onwards
George B Sully builder. Various individual accounts. Sums paid out for
Opening Graves (many) 1843 Burials Stocks 1844.
Sabbath School 1843
Pencil annotation Built 1822. Names, and 1846 onwards, residences of boys.
West Street, Friern Street, North Street, Honeysuckle Lane and others.
Two Insurance Policies (Protestant Dissenters)
1838, Buildings of Chapel in
Friarn Street (£150) and Dwelling House, Vestry & School Rooms (£50).
1856, the description becomes Building, brick built and tiled occupied as
School Room and Class rooms, situate adjoining and communicating with Sion
Chapel £80 the fittings therof in said building. There is a furnace
securely erected in said building. £270. [Evidently the Chapel was separately
In 1860, reports of severe dilapidations. Deacons Report on possible course
of action: The shape of the piece of ground on which the present building
stands unfortunately prevents any addition to the width.
Minutes 1838 to 1870
1860 floor of chapel in a very bad state.
Record Sub-Committee set up June 2 1848 to watch the
interests of Sion Chapel with respect to the projected public (general)
cemetary Reported on March 30 1849 piece of ground offered "rejected
Bound volume of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials November 1818 to
Burials given from ff250 onwards for 18ff at about 19 entries per page, so
say at least 350 recorded burials.
Range of ages - infants to elderly. Entries in 1838 and after give full
details of addresses. Register certificate on 5 August 1837 re central
register in London.
Many current local names, Sealy, Dyer, Preece, Board etc. Locations generally not given,
and plan not found. But spotted that in 1828 G Bryant buried In front of
the Chapel; Capt Bryant 1830.