History of Bridgwater

History of Bridgwater

Description

Bridwater is a thriving market town right on the outskirts of the Somerset Levels, and its history is as varied as the surrounding countryside. Once home to one of the greatest Romantics, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the town may have become an important industrial hub – but its past is still there if you look for it. Guests of our Bridgwater holiday cottages will find some fascinating traditions and sites to visit that tell of Bridgwater’s important past.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake was another famous face from the history of Bridgwater, the admiral was born to a merchant in the town in 1598, and rose to such fame that he is even remembered with a plaque in Westminster Abbey.

Blake (eventually nicknamed ‘the father of the Royal navy’) rose to become one of England’s most powerful military leaders. The birthplace of Blake in Bridgwater is now the Blake Museum. He was originally buried in Westminster Abbey, but was moved to a common grave after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1661.

Bridgwater Carnival

It’s often forgotten that one of the most enduring Bridwater events is a huge piece of its history too! The famous Bridgwater Carnival is known for its thousands of illuminations and floats, and the special Squib fireworks led to the phrase’ damp squib’.

The carnival dates back to the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when the very protestant residents of Bridgwater lit fires in determined celebration of the plot’s failure.

By 1847, records show the annual celebrations had evolved into a special event, making it the oldest carnival event of its nature in the UK.

The Port of Bridgwater

The port we see in the town today is another crucial part of Bridgwater history. The Port of Bridgwater was formed in 1348 and covered 80 miles of Somerset’s coast line. The port runs from Brean Down to Bridgwater Bay, with Bridgwater being the main port of the river.

The quays were constructed in 1424 and there was soon a Customs House on the West Quay. East Quay boasted a dry dock, launching slips and a boat yard. The nineteenth century saw shipping in Bridgwater expand greatly, with the creation of the docks – and more than 167 ships were constructed until 1907.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge Cottage isn’t just one of the town’s main attractions, it’s also a huge part of the history of Bridgwater. Home to the great port of the Romantic period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the pretty pink cottage saw him pen some of his most famous works.

Home to Coleridge between 1797 and 1800, the cottage is National Trust owned and open to visitors between August and October IN 2012 due to restorative work. Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Frost at Midnight in the cottage. The nearby Coleridge Way also follows some of the poet’s favourite pathways and sights.

Bridwater is a thriving market town right on the outskirts of the Somerset Levels, and its history is as varied as the surrounding countryside. Once home to one of the greatest Romantics, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the town may have become an important industrial hub – but its past is still there if you look for it. Guests of our Bridgwater holiday cottages will find some fascinating traditions and sites to visit that tell of Bridgwater’s important past.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake was another famous face from the history of Bridgwater, the admiral was born to a merchant in the town in 1598, and rose to such fame that he is even remembered with a plaque in Westminster Abbey.

Blake (eventually nicknamed ‘the father of the Royal navy’) rose to become one of England’s most powerful military leaders. The birthplace of Blake in Bridgwater is now the Blake Museum. He was originally buried in Westminster Abbey, but was moved to a common grave after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1661.

Bridgwater Carnival

It’s often forgotten that one of the most enduring Bridwater events is a huge piece of its history too! The famous Bridgwater Carnival is known for its thousands of illuminations and floats, and the special Squib fireworks led to the phrase’ damp squib’.

The carnival dates back to the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when the very protestant residents of Bridgwater lit fires in determined celebration of the plot’s failure.

By 1847, records show the annual celebrations had evolved into a special event, making it the oldest carnival event of its nature in the UK.

The Port of Bridgwater

The port we see in the town today is another crucial part of Bridgwater history. The Port of Bridgwater was formed in 1348 and covered 80 miles of Somerset’s coast line. The port runs from Brean Down to Bridgwater Bay, with Bridgwater being the main port of the river.

The quays were constructed in 1424 and there was soon a Customs House on the West Quay. East Quay boasted a dry dock, launching slips and a boat yard. The nineteenth century saw shipping in Bridgwater expand greatly, with the creation of the docks – and more than 167 ships were constructed until 1907.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge Cottage isn’t just one of the town’s main attractions, it’s also a huge part of the history of Bridgwater. Home to the great port of the Romantic period, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the pretty pink cottage saw him pen some of his most famous works.

Home to Coleridge between 1797 and 1800, the cottage is National Trust owned and open to visitors between August and October IN 2012 due to restorative work. Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Frost at Midnight in the cottage. The nearby Coleridge Way also follows some of the poet’s favourite pathways and sights.

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