This website was founded by the late Dr Peter Cattermole in October 2012. It was re-formed in March 2016 and is intended to complement the work and collections of the Blake Museum, and the work of the Bridgwater and District Archaeological Society, the Bridgwater and District Civic Society and the Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery. The site welcomes contributions from local historians, as well as memoirs about the town. See our Notes for Contributors page.
When this Group began much emphasis was given to publishing illustrated accounts of the historic sites and buildings of Bridgwater, but since then the scope has broadened to cover historic texts about the town. These have been digitised from original sources and edited in A4 format, and are PDF documents so that readers can download and print them for further study. The goal has been to create an educational resource for the town, of value not only for local historians, but also for school pupils and college students. Aspects of the Town’s history have been well covered in recent years with books appearing on Carnival, Railways and Pubs, but there are conspicuous gaps. These include the various cultural groups: choirs, dramatics and the arts generally. Bridgwater shops. Sport. Education. Dissenting churches. Manufacturing generally. There are certainly more topics that might be added.
The site is entirely free to use, with no adverts. However, if you enjoy this site you can support us here, or buy a book from the store. All proceeds go towards the cost of maintaining this website. Similar groups in other communities are very welcome to adapt this approach to recording their town’s history. Any interested in doing so are invited to make contact via the web-site to discuss methods.
The logo/banner image at the top of the page is of Bridgwater Stone Bridge, a nineteenth century engraving by Thomas Hair, after John Chubb, (1746-1818).
15 January 2022: Bridgwater Alfred 9 January 1832, featuring notes on the Bridgwater Quarter Sessions, and Bridgwater Alfred 16 January 1832, featuring an advert for the sailing of the Euphrosyne to Canada.
14 January 2022: The Morganian, July 1947
7 January 2022: Our Ancient Meeting House: Some Account of the Fabric of Christ Church, Dampiet Street, Bridgwater, by Clement Edwards Pike, about 1911.
3 January 2022: Bridgwater Alfred, Monday 2 January 1832 – features a report of a special session of the Justices of the borough and parish for the appointment of special constables.
27 December 2021: Bridgwater Alfred for Monday 26 December 1831 – list of trustees appointed to the Bridgwater Turnpikes, letter and response regarding the laws of nature, science and the existence of a Creator.
19 December 2021: Bridgwater Alfred for 12 December 1831 – mostly political editorials – small report on court decisions, and 19 December 1831 – editorial attach on the ‘Bridgwater Political Union for Promotion Freedom of Election’.
18 December 2021: Additional materials relating to Bridgwater Coronation Celebrations.
8 December 2021: Materials relating to the Docks in the Blake Museum, also see our new Bridgwater Ships page.
4 December 2021: Bridgwater Alfred Monday 5 December 1831 – Further news on the subscription – £50 allocated to buy blankets and rugs for the poor. Notice for householders to improve their drains. Political editorial attacking Unitarian schoolmasters. Death of a poor Irishman called McCarthy returning from Rio de Janeiro on his way to Bristol to sail to Ireland.
25 November 2021: Bridgwater Alfred 28 November 1831.
25 November 2021: Gallant Little Ships of the Past The Bridgwater Coasters by W.A. Sharman
21 November 2021: The Irene of Brigwater
21 November 2021: Robin Hood of Bridgwater
22 October 2021: Durleigh, by Rev. Edward H. Smith
13 October 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 21 November 1831
22 September 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 7 November 1831
21 September 2021: Is killing in an union workhouse criminal, if sanctioned by the Poor Law Commissioners? by John Bowen, 1839
19 September 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 31 October, 1831
8 September 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 24 October, 1831
31 August 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 17 October 1831
29 August 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 10 October 1831
15 August 2021: Notes on St Margaret’s School, Northfields
15 August 2021: Bridgwater Alfred, 3 October 1831
31 July 2021: St Mary’s church and the Bridgwater newspapers 1868-1879
31 July 2021: To the Independent Electors of Bridgwater, 1818
30 July 2021: The Stained Glass of St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater
26 July 2021: Draft List of the Streets of Bridgwater and the Names
17 July 2021: The Bristol Road Cemetery, 1878
13 July 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 26 September 1831
12 July 2021: St Mary’s Church in the Bridgwater Newspapers 1831-1833
12 July 2021: The Symbolism of St Mary’s Descent from the Cross
3 July 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 17 September 1831
26 June 2021: A Timeline of the Bridgwater Infirmary
15 June 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 12 September 1831.
14 June 2021: The Northgate Union Workhouse
6 June 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 5 September 1831.
28 May 2021: John Angel’s War Memorials, kindly supplied by David Baker
25 May 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 29 August 1831.
22 May 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 22 August 1831.
12 May 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 15 August 1831.
11 May 2021: The Bridgwater Alfred, 10 August 1831.
21 April 2021: John Bowen’s biography of William Baker, 1854
19 April 2021: Parishes in the Bridgwater Poor Law Union
30 March 2021: General Index to the Bridgwater Poor-Law Union evidence to the Lords select Committee of 1838 concerning the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.
29 March 2021: Blacklands
28 March 2021: In Commemoration of Admiral Robert Blake, June 1956
28 February 2021: Summary Investigation of the Sion Chapel site from 2008 by kind permission of Bill Moffat
26 February 2021: Notes on the direction of Dr Morgan’s School, 1860
26 February 2021: The opening of the United Methodist Chapel, Monmouth Street
23 February 2021: Introduction to Bowen’s Twelve Letters to the Times about Poor Law Reform
22 February 2021: The West Street School and the Ragged School, kindly supplied by Clare Spicer
14 February 2021: The Opening of Westfield House, 1965
5 February 2021: Notes on the Lower Bath Road Market
30 December 2020: The belfry chimes of St Mary’s Chuch
28 December 2020: John Chubb, a friend of Coleridge, by Berta Lawrence
13 December 2020: T.H. Hair’s High Cross and Old Bridge Illustrations
6 December 2020: Coronation Celebrations in Bridgwater
5 December 2020: Forgotten Soldiers of the First World War
22 November 2020: The Cole/Anstice Clock
10 November 2020: John Chubb and Music
2 November 2020: Penlea House
25 October 2020: The Russian Cannon
25 October 2020: Mary Chubb: A Forbear and his Hobby
24 October 2020: The Cockmoyle Prison and Bow Lane
21 October 2020: Bridgwater Poets
25 September 2020: St Mary’s Church Rood Screen
22 September 2020: The Missing Masonic Memorial
20 September 2020: The Swan Inn
30 August 2020: The Organs of St Mary’s Church 1448-Now
16 August 2020: George Cass, Bookbinder
3 August 2020: Picture of St Mary’s Choir, 1920.
23 July 2020: Bridgwater in the Later Days added to Rev. Powell’s research page
5 July 2020: The Technics of Coal-Gas Manufacture
28 June 2020: The Process of Rope Making
27 June 2020: John Creedy, a Prisoner of His Times kindly supplied by Clare Spicer
18 June 2020: A Reference Index to Bridgwater History
10 June 2020: The Bridgwater Wire Rope Works kindly supplied by Paul Berryman
7 June 2020: George Parker’s Ancient History of Bridgwater
30 May 2020: A High Street Plague Pit?
30 May 2020: The Oldmixon Tomb
26 May 2020: Brickmaking in 1852
21 May 2020: The Last Burial in St Mary’s, 1866
16 May 2020: The White Horse Inn, Penel Orlieu
15 May 2020: The Lamb Inn, High Street
13 May 2020: The King Street Wesleyan Chapel
13 May 2020: New Website Begun. Visit the old here.