Bridgwater Museum
Bridgwater Museum

The Bridgwater Museum (also known as the Blake Museum) covers the local history and archaeology of the Bridgewater region. The museum is located in a house believed to be the birthplace of Admiral Robert Blake, Cromwell's General at Sea.

The museum was founded in 1926 in a late 15th century Grade II* listed building thought to be the birthplace of Admiral Robert Blake. Museum exhibits include Blake's sea chest, agricultural machinery and tools, Victorian clothing, and an archive of local artist John Chubb.

A large display covers finds from the Battle of Sedgemoor, and there is an archive of material covering the Monmouth Rebellion. The museum covers Bridgwater's long history as a centre of trade and shipping, with artefacts of transportation and maritime heritage for the area.

See a hoard of coins found on King's Sedgemoor Drain, and collections of historic photos and artefacts from across Somerset. There is an Archaeology Room, where you will find objects from early settlers in the Bridgwater area. Look for the Greylake Skulls, dated to 8400 BC, and a restored Roman mosaic from Spaxton.

Learn about Bridgwater's Franciscan Friary, founded in 1245, and the only Franciscan friary in Somerset. Then there is Bridgwater Castle, built in 1200, with a license from King John to hold a market and fair outside the castle walls.

Admiral Blake's statue, Bridgwater
Admiral Blake's statue, Bridgwater

'Admiral' Blake

Robert Blake (1599-1657) was born in Bridgwater and educated here and at Wadham College, Oxford. He became an MP in the Short Parliament of 1640, and joined the Parliamentary New Model Army.

He was appointed General at Sea in 1649. He never actually bore the title of Admiral, which was not used in the Parliamentary navy. He is known as 'The Father of the Royal Navy'; the man credited with establishing England's naval dominance in Europe, which continued until the 20th century

He created the first standard set of rules and regulations for the Navy and overhauled outdated tactics. He probably deserves to be recognised in the same breath as Admiral Nelson as a naval hero.

The reason Blake is almost unheard of today is that after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 Parliamentary achievements were discredited and major Parliamentary leaders were wiped from the historical record.


The Bridgwater Museum is well signposted from the town centre of Bridgwater. Be aware that there is no parking at the museum itself. We had to park in a pay and display parking area about 10-minutes walk away.