History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
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.
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He created the first standard set of rules and regulations for the Navy and overhauled outdated tactics.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.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Bridgwater Museum
Address: 5 Blake Street, Bridgwater, Somerset, England, TA6 3NB
Attraction Type: Museum
Website: Bridgwater Museum
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Cannington, St Mary's Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Cannington Walled Garden - 3.1 miles (Garden)
Westonzoyland Pumping Station - 3.6 miles (Museum)
Sutton Mallet Church - 4.5 miles (Historic Church)
Maunsel Lock Canal Centre - 4.7 miles (Countryside)
Otterhampton, All Saints Church - 5.1 miles (Historic Church)
WWT Steart Marshes - 5.3 miles (Countryside)
East Lyng, St Bartholomew's Church - 5.4 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Bridgwater Museum: