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River and Shipping

Bridgwater Shipping

We can date shipping in Bridgwater back to at least 1200 AD. William Brewer was granted the rights to collect lastage, a tax on cargoes. In 1233 the constable of Bridgwater was ordered to assist the abbots and monks of Tewkesbury in shipping timber...
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Blossoming Trade

With the turmoil of the seventeenth century consigned to history, Bridgwater’s trade began to grow. William Alloway’s main trade was in wool and tallow from Ireland, rock salt from Liverpool and tobacco from the West Indies. In 1697, John Trott built the...
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Shipbuilding

During the eighteenth century, Bridgwater shipyards were producing ships at the rate of one per year. As early as 1593, Bridgwater had a shipwright. John Trott, who built the Friendship for John Alloway, had a dry dock and repair dock built on the East...
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The Docks

The twice-daily tidal wave which pushes up the River Parrett, known as the bore, is usually on innocuous affair attracting little or no attention as it travels at about 6 miles per hour. However on the spring tides, and when the wind is in the right...
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Bertha the Dredger

Road traffic at the dock was facilitated by a bascule bridge, again believed to be of a Brunel design, and this is the bridge over which traffic still goes today. Completing Brunel’s contribution to the dock’s infrastructure was the dredger, Bertha. Th...
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