Monumental Inscriptions of Bridgwater in St Mary’s Parish Church
This inventory of the Monumental Inscriptions in St Mary’s Church Bridgwater is based on Sir Mervyn Medlycott’s survey of 2013. That was composed for the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society. His reference numbers and codification are retained here, although many of the floor slabs are now obscured due to the 2017 reordering (see below). For Sir Mervyn’s original survey please consult the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society, or the website of the Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery. Sir Mervyn also recorded the few surviving churchyard monuments, but these will form a later report.
In terms of historical sources, besides the parish registers, some memorials were recorded in Edmund Rack’s Survey of Somerset of c1782-6 (printed, 2011, and in Somerset Heritage Centre, A/AQP 24, fos.8-12). A large number were recorded by Sydney Gardnor Jarman in A Handbook of St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater (printed in Bridgwater Gazette office in 1885). Collinson’s “History of Somerset” , vol.3, does not record any memorials here.
The church was re-ordered between 1849-53 when the aisles were re-tiled and the box pews replaced with benches. Numbers of floor slabs covering graves were moved from the aisles to form paths in the church yard, but these have since disappeared Only a few remain within in church and the second plan below shows their location.
The entire church was re-ordered again in 2016-17, with the goal of making the building fully flexible. The Victorian benches were removed and replaced with chairs, with the exception of four blocks made mobile and retained as examples of their kind. New flooring with underfloor heating, and better lighting and sound system and improved catering facilities were also installed.