Bridgwater Heritage Group

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Bridgwater Heritage was founded by Dr Peter Cattermole in October 2012. It was re-founded in March 2016 as an informal research group and online platform for publishing materials and research on the history of Bridgwater and the surrounding villages.

We welcome submissions on all aspects of the history of the area, be they primary sources, short articles, or extended research projects. If you are interested in being involved, submitting material, have any questions or are seeking help with research, then please get in contact.

About Us, Notes for Contributors & Digitising Texts

If you enjoy this site and want to know more, perhaps the most valuable external resource on Bridgwater's history can be found in the Victoria County History for Somerset. The VCH site has a series of pages relating to mostly buildings in the county, so as well as the main VCH pages on Bridgwater's history, there may also be found one about the Duke of Chandos' building developments in the town. Also visit the Somerset Historic Environment Record for an interative database of the county's historic landscape. Also consult the online cataloge for the Somerset Heritage Centre. Local authorities offer access to online research facilities via a library users' membership card. Some can be accessed from home, others in a library. Somerset users can access from home the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, for example. See here.

Recent Updates

5 July 2020: We have a new website under construction here.
Content from this old site is gradually being transferred, but please refer to the new site for the most recent additions - this site will no longer be updated.

28 June 2020: Rope making in 1851 From Charles Tomlinson, Cylopaedia of Useful Arts and Manufactures
27 June 2020: John Creedy, a Prisoner of His Times (1772-1846) by Clare Spicer.
18 June 2020: A Reference Index to Bridgwater History (.pdf file), by Tony Woolrich.
10 June 2020: The Bridgwater Wire Rope Works (.pdf file), kindly contributed by Paul Berryman.
7 June 2020: The Ancient History of Bridgwater, by George Parker, added to his research page.
30 May 2020: The Oldmixon Tomb, St Mary's Churchyard
30 May 2020: A Possible Plague Pit High Street/Lamb Lane.
26 May 2020: Brickmaking in 1851 From Charles Tomlinson, Cylopaedia of Useful Arts and Manufactures
21 May 2020: Reccomended book Lost Ships of the Severn Sea by Paul Barnett now available from the author details here.
21 May 2020: The Last Burial in St Mary's Churchyard, 1866
16 May 2020: The White Horse Inn Penel Orlieu, medieval to ?1900?, added to Lost Bridgwater.
15 May 2020: The Lamb Inn High Street, medieval to 1888, added to Lost Bridgwater.
12 May 2020: King Street Wesleyan Chapel history added to the Churches research page.
12 May 2020: Errata and illustrations, for Powell's Ancient Borough of Bridgwater added to his research page.
10 May 2020: Full text of Arthur Herbert Powell's Ancient Borough of Bridgwater, from 1907, now fully digitised and added to his research page.
30 April 2020: Margaret Thompson Sturge, Memories and Echoes of Days Gone By, A History of the Thompson Family and the Quaker Community (.pdf) 1904.
29 April 2020: The Bridgwater Infirmary: A record of its rise and progress, 1890, added to the research page for Sydney Gardnor Jarman.
28 April 2020: Photograph of Hook Brothers' Golden Key Grocery Store, December 1892, added to the BHG Collection page.
25 April 2020: Mystery Burials Mansion House Lane, added to Lost Bridgwater.
22 April 2020: Thompson's Ironmongers Cornhill, c.1832-1962, added to Lost Bridgwater.
20 April 2020: Notes added to the page on Chubb's Lithographs
20 April 2020: Houses on the Bridge Salmon Parade, c.1392-c.1830, added to Lost Bridgwater.
11 April 2020: The Malt Shovel North Street, late medieval to 1903, added to Lost Bridgwater.
5 April 2020: The Bull and Butcher High Street, late medieval to 1907, added to Lost Bridgwater.
22 March 2020: A Sketch of Bridgwater and its Neighbourhood by George Parker, 1854. In verse (.pdf file).
21 March 2020: Notes for Contributors and a Guide to Digitising Texts
15 March 2020: St Joseph's on the Quay (.pdf file) history by Tony Woolrich.
10 March 2020: A Glass Fragment from Goathurst Marked by Edward Coombes and James Kingson, kindly supplied by David Bunney.
9 March 2020: Additions to the biographies of John Clark and Thomas Clark.
5 March 2020: Appendix to the FIRST REPORT of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS in England and WALES Ordered to be printed 30 March, 1835 (.pdf file).
2 March 2020: St. Joseph of Arimathea Roman Catholic Chapel, Gordon Terrace, Bridgwater and Sergeant James Hogan, 1830-1878, by Tony Woolrich.
29 February 2020: Notes on the Society of Friends' (Quaker) Burial Ground and the Wesleyan Burial Ground, Albert Street, added to Lost Bridgwater
30 January 2020: List of Bridgwater Newspapers held by the British Library.
29 January 2020:: More Chapters, by S.G. Jarman. now added to his research page.
28 January 2020: New article The Bridgwater Bell Foundries (1739 to 1833),
and comparisons with other Founders on the Severn Estuary at those times at Chepstow and Gloucester.

By Geoffrey R. Marchant, B.Eng.(Tech.), C. Eng., M.I.Mech.E., November 2019, also with Corrections and Update at January 2020.
25 January 2020: Notes on Victoria Park Bandstand added to Lost Bridgwater
24 January 2020: More Chapters, by S.G. Jarman. now added to his research page.
20 January 2020: Boys from the Bridgwater area admitted to Blundell's School, Tiverton, kindly supplied by Mr Mike Sampson, Archivist for Blundell's School, Tiverton..
19 January 2020: More Chapters, by S.G. Jarman. now added to his research page.
15 January 2020: More Chapters, by S.G. Jarman. now added to his research page.
8 December 2019: Notes on Lost Festivals of Bridgwater.
5 December 2019: Revd Arthur Herbert Powell, notable Bridgwater historian, new research page.
2 December 2019: Does anyone know what became of ....?, by Tony Woolrich.
23 November 2019: St John's Eastover, by H. Eardley Field, 1946, added to the St John's Research Page.
21 November 2019: George Parker, notable Bridgwater historian, new research page.
20 November 2019: More Examples, added to the Chronology of the Town Seals.
18 November 2019: A Handbook of St Mary's Church, by S.G. Jarman. now added to his research page.
12 November 2019: Biography and Bibliography for , Sydney Gardnor Jarman, notable Bridgwater historian.
11 November 2019: Bridgwater Clockmakers through the ages (large .pdf file) kindly contributed by Nial & Deborah Woodford
8 November 2019: Notes, on the Cattle Market, Penel Orlieu.
7 November 2019: Research Page for Sydney Gardnor Jarman, notable Bridgwater historian, with two articles on the Borough Archives and the town's Newspapers.
6 November 2019: Notes, on the town gaol, Fore Street.
29 October 2019: (pdf) The Vicars of Bridgwater , by Jonathan Conibere & Frances Pearce.
28 October 2019: Holy Trinity Church , further notes and revisions.
26 October 2019: The Bridgwater Castle Bed and the Chubbs, by Peter Cattermole, Tony Woolrich and Miles Kerr-Peterson.
13 October 2019: Bell Founding in Bridgwater, Thomas Pyke & the Gaol Bells, research by Tony Woolrich.
12 October 2019: Charles James Fox and the Borough of Bridgwater, by Thomas Bruce Dilks, added to his bibliography page.
11 October 2019: Notes on Bouchier Bros, Eastover, added to Lost Bridgwater.
6 October 2019: Notes on the Hospital of St John by Thomas Bruce Dilks, added to his bibliography page.
5 October 2019: Two Papers on the Borough Archives,
an 1856 transcription of the Inventory of St Katherine's Aisle in St Mary's Church, F.W. Weaver's notes on 'Bridgwater in the Olden Time',
Also Thomas Bruce Dilks' Teacher's Guide to Medieval Bridgwater (pdf file) added to his bibliography page.
3 October 2019: The Queen's Head, added to Lost Bridgwater.
1 October 2019: The British Archaeological Association visits Bridgwater, 1856.
Also, Thomas Bruce Dilks Some Documentary Oddments (1918-1946) added to his bibliography page.
29 September 2019: Opening the Blake Gardens, 9 September 1901.
28 September 2019: A Chronology of the Town Seal revised and updated.
27 September 2019: Somerset Bridge School brief notes and a picture added to Lost Bridgwater.
26 September 2019: 1877 Report on the Borough Archives by J Edgar Odgers.
25 September 2019: Bridgwater in Brief by Thomas Bruce Dilks, added to his bibliography page.
24 September 2019: The Burgesses of Bridgwater in the Thirteenth Century by Thomas Bruce Dilks, added to his bibliography page.
10 September 2019: Bridgwater North Railway Station Added to Lost Bridgwater
10 September 2019: The Story of a Tame Fox in an Ivorex Plaque.
1 September 2019: Gough and Nation Ship Building Yard Crowpill.
26 August 2019: Thomas Bruce Dilks bibliography.
25 August 2019: Borough Archives research pages.
15 August 2019: Blake Gardens research pages.
30 July 2019: Binford House research page, contributed by Ann-Marie Gould.
19 June 2019: 1853 Map of the district added to the map page.
22 April 2019: Notes on the Old Vicarage, St Mary Street.
25 February 2018: Two new histories of Bridgwater added: Cooke c.1828 and Kelly's Directory of Somerset, 1900.
18 February 2018: Links added to Public Health in Victorian Bridgwater, and Maps of Old Bridgwater.
7 October 2017: New Heritage page on the Parish of Wembdon.

Research Sites

Heritage Pages



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Other Organisations Devoted to the History of Bridgwater

The Blake Museum,
Friends of the
Blake Museum
Friends of the Wembdon
Road Cemetery
Bridgwater and District
Archaeological Society
(Former) Shapwick
Heritage Group

All Content © Bridgwater Heritage Group, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, do not reproduce material without permission.

Comments on the site? Queries on Bridgwater history or heritage? Contributions to the site?
Contact us here.