Bridgwater, a municipal borough and river-port of Somersetshire, on the Parret, 6 miles in a direct line, and 12 by the river, from the Bristol Channel, and 29 miles SW. of Bristol. It stands on the border of a plain between the Mendip and Quantock Hills, in a well-wooded country. The Parret, which admits vessels of 700 tons up to the town, rises 36 feet at springtides, and is subject to a bore, 6 or 8 feet high; a canal gives water communication with Taunton. Bath or scouring bricks, of which Bridgwater has a monopoly, are made here of a mixture of sand and clay found in the river, and there are carriage-works and potteries. The Conqueror granted the manor to one Walter de Douay, and its name thereupon became Burgh-Walter, of which Bridgwater is a mere corruption. A castle was built here in the reign of John, and an Augustinian abbey about 1230. Admiral Blake was a native of Bridgwater, which in the great rebellion was forced by Fairfax to surrender, the castle being dismantled. The battle of Sedgemoor (q.v.) was fought in 1685 near Bridgwater, whose corporation had proclaimed Monmouth as king. Bridgwater formerly returned two members, but was disfranchised in 1870. Pop. (1851) 10,317; (1901) 15,209. See the history of the town by S. J. Jarman (1889).