Bridgwater Castle


Lithograph of Bridgwater Caste Ruins


  • Bridgwater, Somerset
  • Scheduled Monument
  • Grade II Listed Building.


Rectangular enclosure castle, surrounded by a ditch, covering approximately 10 acres with the moat measuring 65.6 ft wide. The south west corner of the moat measured approximately 13.1 ft wide and 13.1 ft deep. Built of red sandstone.

Bailey used for archery training. The keep stood in the area of Kings Square.


1200-1202                   Built by William de Briwerre after receiving a licence to build a castle.

1219                            Stone chapel in castle grounds.

1233                            Passed to Henry III.

1233-1248                   Royal castle used as a prison and had Constables.

1242                            Motte and turrets repaired.

1245                            The motte and towers were repaired.

1246                            Towers roofed and palisade repaired.

13th C                          Gateway.

1322-1326                   Held by the Crown.

1347-1348                   Repairs made to the chapel and barn.

1360                            In ruins.

1380’s                         Repairs undertaken to buildings and fortifications.

1390’s                         Mortimer’s Hall built.

1394-1395                   North side palisade repaired, wall strengthened on the eastern side and towers repaired.

14th C                          Ditch partially filled in.

1400                            Buildings in the inner bailey.

1408                            New chamber added.

1450’s                         Private houses built on the site.

1530’s-1540’s             Constable and bailiff on site.

1535                            Chapel was dedicated to St. Mark.

1540-1546                   Itinerary of John Leland: Ruins.

1548                            Part of the castle fell down.

1591                            Leased to William Goble.

1607                            c: Held by the Crown.

1627                            Owned by Sir George Whitmore?

1630                            William Goble sold it to Henry Harley.

1635                            Before: Some of the walls were demolished.

1637                            Mansion house built on motte with a twin towered gatehouse.

1645                            Fortified by the Royalists under the command of Col. Wyndham.

1645                            22nd July: Fairfax attacked the castle at night and bridged the moat.

1645                            23rd July: The castle surrendered to parliament.

1646                            August: The garrison was disbanded and the castle slighted by Parliament.

1647                            March: The slighting of the castle was reconsidered.

1647                            July: The works were slighted.

1673                            Owned by Francis Harvey.

1699                            Owned by John Harvey.

17th-18th C                   Ditch partially filled in.

1721                            Francis Harvey gave it to James Brydges, Duke of Chandos.

1726                            Eastern wall demolished.

1734                            The Duke of Chandos sold it to Thomas Watts.

1738                            Thomas Watts gave it to John Anderdon.

1777                            Owned by Edward Anderdon. Two houses stood in the bailey.

18th C                          Ditch partially filled in.

18th-19th C                   Ditch partially filled in.

1804                            Playground and open area on the west of the site.

1964                            Field Investigation.

1972                            Excavated by Bridgewater and District Archaeological Society.

1980’s                         Watching Brief by Somerset County Council.

1980-1989                   Watching Brief by Somerset County Council.

1984                            Excavated by  Western Archaeological Trust.

1988                            Moat excavated b y Somerset County Council.

1990                            Surveyed.

2002                            Excavated 

21st C                          Only the Water Gate remains.


Castle Street, Bridgwater sign



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