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105: 1 West Street
The Cardiff Arms

In 1601 this plot was given by Richard Chute to Christopher Bodgwine, a Bristol grocer. Its size was given as a burage and a half and there was a tenement standing on it. in 1667 it was granted by the Corporation of Bridgwater to James Hassell (or Haswell). However, the tenement no longer stood, probably destroyed in the 1640s in the Civil Wars, as Hassell's grant was given in return for him agreeing to build a dwelling house on it.

By 1679 this plot of land was occupied by the Three Mariners Inn, when it was in the posession of William Masye and his daughter Mary.

By 1715 it had been renamed The Bell, when the lease was granted to Richard Davis, the innholder. In 1748 Mary Cleeves was recorded as landlord. The adjoining Moat Lane was for a time known as Bell Lane, in reference to the inn. The name might, at a stretch, have something to do with the bell of the former almshouses, if it had survived.

By 1818 the name of the inn had changed to the White Ball. Its landlords included James Taylor (1818-1822), John Kitch (1848-1861), Francis Howe (1874-1879), Henry Knight (1881) and James James (1883).

The name again changed, this time to the Cardiff Arms, under the landlordship of John Bennett, 1889 to 1894. Other landlords included William Henry Lovell 1936-1951 and Reg Dyer in 1968, the year it closed and the building demolished.

The picture of this building in Williams shows the West Street facade. It shows a construction of the closing years of the nineteenth century, fine local brick, tile, looped ridge tiles and pointed finial. Decorative corbels. Starkey, Knight and Ford horse placard on first storey. Apparant remnant of the former, lower, facade evident on the next-door building, the Excel Fish Restaurant.

Sources
Jack and Chris Lawrence, A History of Bridgwater, (Chichester: Philimore, 2005)
David Williams, Bridgwater Inns Past and Present, (Abbey Press, 2nd edn. 1997)
Bob Dunning, The Victoria County History of the County of Somerset, Volume 6 (Oxford, 1992)
David Sivier, Bridgwater: Personality, Place and the Built Environment, (BAR, Oxford, 2014)

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