Bridgwater Bay to the River Parret Navigation


In the year 1723 it was proposed to improve matters for the ships that needed to dock at Combwich, Bridgwater or Langport ports along the river Parret, which discharged into Bridgwater Bay.

It was also thought necessary to publicise the navigation necessary in order that vessels did not founder on the difficult approach.

Many vessels had already done so and if the plan to side-track the main entrance by making a cut through from Bridgwater Bay to the river was agreed it would also quicken the journey.

This plan did not come to fruition for one reason or another, and it will be seen from the 18th century map below,

what an improvement it would have been.

Maybe the thought of making an Island of the Steart peninsular was the deciding factor?

Also note the building at Steart Point, sometime known as Warren House - an olde mariners hostelry for the crew of ships moored awaiting the tide

also where the customs and excise {Tide Waiters} had office.


(Click to enlarge)



"To sail into the river from the Westward, for the port of Bridgwater, you will first make a Round Hill called Brent Knowle

nearly over Burnham Church, which you must keep from you due East;

And then Sail along till you open Bridgwater Steeple,

And then you are to keep the Northside of Burnham Church just open of Burnham Tower

till you open to the Eastward of the Warren house at Steart Point"


My appreciation and thanks to the Somerset Record Office (Now the Somerset Heritage Centre) for allowing reproduction of this detail & map





Page Updated: - 01/08/2015