Castle House – the ‘Concrete’ or Portland Castle

Castle House sometime in the 1990s. Thanks to and © The Blake Museum, Bridgwater

Sydney Gardnor JarmanA Handbook of St. Mary’s Church, Bridgwater (1885)
An interesting relic of the church [St Mary’s] may now be found at ‘the Castle’, a quaintly built residence in Queen Street, the property of Mr Hook of ‘the Golden Key’ [The Dragon House on Fore Street]. Here may be seen the old south door, which was replaced by a modern one at the time of Mr. James’ restoration [of the church]. There is no ornamental work about it except a neat beading around the panels, but a very interesting feature of it is the massive hinge, of true ecclesiastical type, some five or six feet long. A smaller doorway opens in the centre, and the bracket and wheel around which a weight used to run (down through a kind of box on the outside) to close the small door, are still to be seen. The original fastening and lock also remain, the latter being fixed with nuts and bolts. The door was placed in its present position by the late Mr. John Board, who built the house, of Portland cement, in a style as near as possible his idea of what William de Briwere’s famous Castle of Bridgwater was some four of five centuries previously, the site of which was where King’s Square now stands not a stone’s throw away.

John and Jack LawrenceA History of Bridgwater (2005)
One of the recesses carried a statue of Napoleon (p.152)

In November 2018 the Scaffolding came down and the exterior of the building was again seen in its former glory:

Pictures of the back of Castle House in July 2008

Visit Summer 2012

Visit July 2015