St. Mary’s Church, Bridgwater

A church has stood in this spot since before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Bust of 17th Century Admiral Blake from Bridgwater. Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Bust of 17th Century Admiral Blake from Bridgwater. Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

The painting in the middle, above the altar, is a seventeenth century piece called The Deposition, and there is controversy as to who the artist was who painted it. Some say it is Italian, others, Spanish. It could be Murillo or Guido. We may never know.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

A lovely man named Adrian who works at this church spoke with me enthusiastically about the Monmouth Rebellion, and he offered to show me up the Tower. I was ever so pleased, and I went up behind him up the 90 steps to the top.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Monmouth, followed by Lord Grey, climbed these very steps up the Tower in the days leading up to the Battle of Sedgemoor of 1685. He used this door:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

He saw this:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

He probably leaned upon this ledge as he used his spy-glass to look into the distance:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Isn’t that amazing? I stood where he once stood.

I felt a certain unity with him at this point, which for a historian one of the reasons why we do this – it gave me such a thrill to be standing where he stood, looking upon the whole area spread out before me, a prospect similar to what he would have seen.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

You see the Tudor-style house above with the To Let sign? Adrian told me that this building was used during the terrible Bloody Assizes. I took a closer snap of it when I was in front of it:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

On my way back down the stairs, I noticed some Victorian graffiti:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

And a old window, covered in cobwebs, making it look all the more interesting:

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Photo: Andrea Zuvich

Adrian also told me that many churches were being closed, and so again I donated all I could (£10) because preserving these great historical buildings is so very important for our cultural identity.

Please join me in donating to St. Mary’s, so that the Monmouth Tower and all the wonderful, fascinating aspects of this church’s history can be maintained for future generations: https://sites.google.com/site/stmaryschurchbridgwater/

Thank you.

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