BRIDGWATER NEWS: New lease of life for historic Castle Watergate

BRIDGWATER NEWS: New lease of life for historic Castle Watergate

A SMALL ceremony was held on Saturday (January 13, 2018) to mark the sympathetic restoration of a complex of buildings on Bridgwater's West Quay centered on the historic Castle Watergate.

A large display board on the history of Bridgwater Castle was unveiled by Mayor, Cllr Graham Granter, and explains how Bridgwater Castle was built around the year 1200 by the wealthy William Briwere, King John’s right-hand man, who legally established Bridgwater as a town at the same time.

The Watergate is one of the few surviving parts of the castle above ground, along with a large chunk of castle wall and a few other fragments in the area.

The surrounding complex of buildings include the old Watergate Hotel, now established as a friendly café, the White Feather Coffee Bar, and the bonded warehouses and cellars of the castle, formerly owned by Wessex Water, which have now been turned into a gym.

This was the brainchild of Steve Beasant, director of the developers of EDZ Ltd, who wanted to make the most of the historic buildings, restore them sympathetically and bring them back to life.

His team worked closely with Derek Gibson, president of the Bridgwater and District Civic Society and outgoing chairman of the Bridgwater Town Centre Regeneration Partnership, and Charlotte Westwood, conservation officer of Sedgemoor District Council.

The results are a triumph of careful planning, sensitive conservation and sympathetic development, leaving something Bridgwater can be proud of, and protecting the Watergate for future generations.

The display board was designed by Dr Miles Kerr-Peterson, historian, and funded by the Bridgwater and District Civic Society. 

More photos can be found on this link - http://www.bridgwaterpress.co.uk/blog/2018/01/15/castle-watergate-january-13-2018/ .

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