Visit Bridgwater and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Bridgwater, Somerset, grew in the Middle Ages from a village to a major river-port. It proclaimed Monmouth king, and here, in July 1685, he and his followers spent their last night before being routed on Sedgemoor (battle site 3 miles South East). From long decline following the death of the cloth industry in the area, it emerged in the 20th century as an enterprising industrial town with more buildings both old and modern. Its port now does little business.
The best part of it is West of the River Parrett. Castle Street, running down to the West Quay, is all c. 1720 and is perhaps the finest street of this period in the West Country. King's Square, at the top of this street, is on the site of the 13th century castle destroyed by Roundheads after the Civil War, during which it was held by Royalists, though the townspeople were for Parliament. St Mary's Church (13th to 15th century) has some magnificent features: a slender 175-ft spire of Ham-stone, one of the finest in the West Country; exceptional black oak pulpit (1490); Jacobean screen fronting an unusual side area of pews intended for members of the Corporation; and an unusually good late Renaissance altar painting, acquired in a sale of naval prizes at Plymouth in the 18th century Monmouth climbed the tower to survey the evening, and you can, too.
The town's most honoured son is Robert Blake, the Cromwellian admiral (1598—1657). The house where he is said to have been born is now the museum and behind it is a pretty public garden. His statue is in Cornhill, which was the medieval market place, in front of the successfully amateur-designed Market Hall (c. 1834).
Some 5 miles North begins the Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve, comprising the mouth of the Parrett and the coast's foreshore from Lilstock nearly to Burnham. Among the birds sometimes seen in this great area of mud-flats and salt marshes are white-fronted geese (in winter), and many types of duck and wader. There are also rare plants.
Nearby towns: Burnham-on-Sea, Street, Taunton, Watchet
Nearby villages: Aisholt, Aller, Athelney, Bishops Lydeard, Chedzoy, Cossington, Cothelstone, Curry Rivel, Dodington, Dunball, Durleigh, Durston, Edington, Enmore, Goathurst, Greinton, Horsey, Huntspill, Huntworth, Mark, Middlezoy, Nether Stowey, North Curry, North Newton, North Petherton, Norton Fitzwarren, Othery, Otterhampton, Pawlett, Puriton, Spaxton, Stawell, Stogursey, Stoke St. Gregory, Stolford, Sutton Mallet, Thurloxton, West Bagborough, West Monkton, Westonzoyland
Have you decided to visit Bridgwater or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Bridgwater bed and breakfast (a Bridgwater B&B or Bridgwater b and b)
- a Bridgwater guesthouse
- a Bridgwater hotel (or motel)
- a Bridgwater self-catering establishment, or
- other Bridgwater accommodation