The Arch / The Castle Inn

Binford Place, Bridgwater

The earliest views of Binford Place show the building known as the Arch.

A Victorian Print after John Chubb. An earlier verion can be seen here.

The Arch, a wonderful medieval structure, with Tudor and Jacobean additions, formed part of the establishment known as the Castle Inn. The inn’s name may relate to Bridgwater Castle, which stood on the opposite side of Fore Street, but, as the inn started out as an import business for wine, it may relate to ‘Castile’ in Spain, as this was a common root for the name of many English inns and pubs. The Borough Corporation of the 1790s spent a considerable amount of effort clearing away many of the old medieval properties which had adjoined the stone bridge, partially to aid traffic, but also in preparation for a new iron bridge. The Castle Inn was considerably truncated, leaving a wall facing the river in brick, with the old stone frontage facing Fore Street.

An early photograph of the Castle Inn, sometime in the 1880s, seen from an upstairs window on Salmon Parade. © Kindly supplied by Dave Bown.
The Castle Inn in c.1878, showing the brick wall to the left and stone to the right. Philip J. Squibbs noted that it had been a famous hostelry for seafarers. © Blake Museum K60a.
Nelson’s Family Butchers in about 1905. This building was built sometime around 1902 and had replaced the historic Castle Inn, which presumably closed down at about that time.
Another view of the same, 1907. Note that the rooms above the butchers’ is occupied by the delightfully named ‘Bridge Toilet Saloon’.Any details on this establishment would be gratefully received! © Kindly supplied by Dave Bown.
The corner of Binford Place and Fore Street, in about 1905 and again in 1957


Squibbs,P.,Squibbs’ History of Bridgwater (1982)
Lawrence and Lawrence, A History of Bridgwater (2005)
Fitzhugh, R., Bridgwater and the River Parrett (1993)