Opened in 1827, the B&T met the River Parrett at Huntworth and in 1841 it was extended round the town of Bridgwater to new docks below the town bridge. Its principal cargoes were coal and iron from across the channel in South Wales, with agricultural goods filling the boats on their return journeys.
The Bristol & Exeter Railway bought the canal in 1866 and constructed a branch to the docks.
By the turn of the 20th Century, commercial carrying on this rural waterway had all but ceased and the canal found a new role as a water supply. Access to the fiercely tidal Parrett was curtailed and during World War II swing bridges were secured in position for security purposes - so although the line contained water, it was not navigable by anything more than a canoe or dinghy.
The combined efforts of British Waterways, local enthusiasts, district councils and Somerset County Council achieved restoration of the Bridgwater & Taunton which reopened in 1994. The area around Bridgwater Docks has been transformed from industrial decay to desirable residential. However, although the connection to the Parrett had been restored, it is currently closed in order to keep silt out of the canal at high tides.
|Place to Visit (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|