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Pocket Guide: Bridgwater

Bridgwater is an attractive small market town with an interesting and varied past, evidenced in its impressive historic buildings. The town is perhaps most famous for its extraordinary illuminated annual carnival procession, which is the biggest event of its kind in Europe. The Bridgwater area has been inhabited for many thousands of years, with finds of flint implements indicating that it was an important 'factory' site in prehistoric times. Try one of the many local guesthouses or B&Bs to be close to the action and attractions.

Bridgwater Bricks and Tiles

The Somerset Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater is a showcase for all facets of the local industry that fired Bridgwater up during the Industrial Revolution. The museum's core is an old tile kiln, the last one still standing here, and last used for production in 1965 when the original six kilns of Barham Brothers' Yard finally closed for good. Somerset towns such as Burnham, Bridgwater and Glastonbury have a distinctive look which is largely the product of terracotta plaques, tiles, bricks and other wares produced at factories like these. In the museum you can get up close to the range of processes involved in making them.

Historic Bridgwater

Come to the Bridgwater area and stay at one of the local guesthouses, hotels or B&Bs to explore a rich heritage that goes all the way back to prehistoric times. The Blake Museum is a former 16th century town house which now houses a unique collection of exhibits tracing the area's history back to the Stone Age. The town was called Brugie in 1086 and gets a mention in the Domesday Book of that year, and Robert Blake - Cromwell's naval commander - was born in this very house apparently. Exhibits include Alfred the Great, the Battle of Sedgemoor and 19th century artefacts found in the area, taking in the English Civil War and 20th century wars along the way. The museum has rotating exhibitions throughout the year, and as it's in the middle of town you'll have no trouble reaching it from your Somerset hotel or guesthouse located nearby.