In 1200, King John granted the town a charter which allowed William
Brewer to build a castle, to create a borough outside of its walls and to
hold a market and fair.
Bridgwater Castle was a substantial structure being built in old red
sandstone it covered an area of some 8 to 9 acres. A moat of up to 20
metres wide surrounded the castle in what is now Fore Street and Castle
Moat, and between Northgate and Chandos Street.
The main entrance was opposite the Cornhill in the area of York Buildings.
The complex included a dungeon, chapel, stables, a dovecote, a bell tower
and agricultural buildings. A 12ft portion of the castle wall and water gate can
be found on West Quay, and remains of what is thought to be a building
within the walls of the castle can be seen in Queen Street. During
excavations to construct Homecastle House in Chandos Street, foundations
of the north east tower were found. The castle being built on the only raised
ground in the town, controlled the crossing of the River Parrett.
Over the centuries the castle fell into disrepair and certainly by about 1347-
48, parts of the moat had been back filled and built over and some walls had
been pulled down. During the Siege of Bridgwater in 1645, the castle was
either damaged or destroyed. Later, houses were built and the area
An engraving by John Chubb shows the seventeenth
century mansion house which once occupied the site of
the castle keep. These were demolished to permit the
development of part of King Square. In the background is
Castle Street which was partly built by 1723.
Impression of the Castle Entrance
by Mr John Stuckey
Impression of Bridgwater Castle
by Mr Michael Stirling
Castle Ruins by John Chubb
a local merchant and artist
A west view of Bridgwater Castle in Somersetshire from the George III collection
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