Finding The Bridgwater Railway – 2022 Edition


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Updated for 2022 to include new information and photographs

David C Bown, Bawdrip’s railway historian has produced a companion book to his earlier well received book, ‘The Bridgwater Railway through Bawdrip’.

The Bridgwater railway line linking Bridgwater to the  Somerset and Dorset network at Edington was opened in 1890 and finally closed in 1954. Since then an almost equal number of years have passed and the line has slid back into the local country side. What remains after this long period of disuse is evidence of the track bed and the bridges and some buildings in Bridgwater.

This new book does actually what it says on the cover as David has gone out and photographed these bridges and other remaining evidence in a series of stunning full colour photos complemented by parallel pictures from earlier times. The text very clearly explains how to find the sites and any problems of access. This is particularly useful to help one in Bridgwater and also to find some of the bridges in the countryside which are cunningly out of sight.

These railway bridges were made to last with impressive stone work and other features. One cannot pass under the bridge carrying A39 traffic without  marvelling at the diagonal brickwork carrying the stress loads.

The charm of the book is that it creates this sense of inquisitiveness and curiosity in the reader,  the same scenic vistas as the passengers of long ago with the Mendips in the distance, the Poldens at hand and little folds of hidden tranquillity. You could imagine the train passengers pleasure’  Looking at the lush spring flowers, hearing the bird song and small oases of wildness not tamed by the farmer I could certainly share that pleasure.