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Bridgwater

Bridgwater is a large historic market town and civil parish in Somerset, England. Its population stands at around 35,886 as of 2011. Bridgwater is in level and well-wooded country; the town lies along both sides of the River Parrett, has been a major in-land port and trading centre since the industrial revolution. Most of its industrial bases still stand today, its larger neighbour Taunton, is linked to Bridgwater via a canal, the M5 motorway and the GWR railway line. The town had a politically radical tendency; the Battle of Sedgemoor, where the Monmouth Rebellion was crushed in 1685, was fought nearby. Notable buildings include the Church of St Mary and the house in Blake Street restored, the birthplace of Admiral Blake in 1598, is now the Blake Museum; the town plays host to the annual Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival. It is thought that the town was called Brigg, meaning quay, it has been argued that the name may instead come from the Old English brycg or Old Norse bryggja, though this idea has been opposed on etymological grounds.

In the Domesday Book the town is listed as Brugie, while Brugia was used. After the Norman invasion the land was given to Walter of Douai, hence becoming known variously as Burgh-Walter, Brugg-Walter and Brigg-Walter corrupted to Bridgwater. An alternative version is that it derives from "Bridge of Walter". Bridgwater is mentioned both in the Domesday Book and in the earlier Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dating from around 800, owing its origin as a trade centre to its position at the mouth of the chief river in Somerset, it was part of the Hundred of North Petherton. In a legend of Alfred the Great, he burnt some cakes while hiding in the marshes of Athelney near Bridgwater, after the Danish invasion in 875, while in 878 the major engagement of the Battle of Cynwit may have been at nearby Cannington. William Briwere was granted the lordship of the Manor of Bridgwater by John of England in 1201, founded Bridgwater Friary. Through Briwere's influence, King John granted three charters in 1200. Bridgwater Castle was a substantial structure built in Old Red Sandstone, covering a site of 8 or 9 acres.

A tidal moat, up to 65 feet wide in places, flowed about along the line of the modern thoroughfares of Fore Street and Castle Moat, between Northgate and Chandos Street. The main entrance opposite the Cornhill was built with a pair of adjacent drawbridges. In addition to a keep, located at the south-east corner of what is now King Square, documents show that the complex included a dungeon, stables and a bell tower. Built on the only raised ground in the town, the castle controlled the crossing of the town bridge. A 12 feet thick portion of the castle wall and water gate can still be seen on West Quay, the remains of a wall of a building, built within the castle can be viewed in Queen Street; the foundations of the tower forming the north-east corner of the castle are buried beneath Homecastle House. William Briwere founded St John's hospital which, by the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII, was worth the substantial sum of 121 pounds, as well as starting the construction of the town's first stone bridge.

William Briwere went on to found the Franciscan Bridgwater Friary in the town. During the 11th century Second Barons' War against Henry III, Bridgwater was held by the barons against the King. Other charters were granted by Henry III in 1227, which gave Bridgwater a guild merchant, important for the regulation of trade, allowing guild members to trade in the town, to impose payments and restrictions upon others. Bridgwater's peasants under Nicholas Frampton took part in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, sacking Sydenham House, murdering the local tax collectors and destroying the records. Bridgwater was incorporated by charter of Edward IV, confirmed in 1554, 1586, 1629 and 1684. Parliamentary representation as a borough constituency began in 1295 and continued until the Reform Act of 1870, when the original borough constituency was disenfranchised for corruption. From 4 July 1870 the town was incorporated within the county constituency of West Somerset; when Parliamentary seats were redistributed for the 1885 general election, a new county division of Bridgwater was created.

A variety of markets were granted to the town during the Middle Ages including a Midsummer fair, one at the beginning of Lent was added in 1468, one at Michaelmas. The importance of these markets and fairs for the sale of wool and wine, of cloth, declined after medieval times; the shipping trade of the port revived after the construction of the new dock in 1841, corn and timber have been imported for centuries. Gunpowder Plotter Guy Fawkes is remembered during the carnival season, including a grand illuminated procession through Bridgwater town centre, which culminates in the Squibbing. Bridgwater, being staunchly Protestant at the time of the plot celebrated the thwarting of the conspiracy with particular enthusiasm. In the English Civil War the town and the castle were held by the Royalists under Colonel Edmund Wyndham, a personal acquaintance of the King. British history might have been different had his wife, Lady Wyndham, been a little more accurate with a musket shot that missed Cromwell but killed his aide de camp.

With many buildings destroyed in the town, the castle and its valuable contents were surrendered to the Parliamentarians on 21 July 1645. The castle itself was delib

Aaron Lee

Aaron Lee Soon Yong is a Singaporean prize-winning poet who writes in English. He was born in Malaysia but received his education in Singapore and became a Singaporean in 1996. Aaron began writing poetry during his days at Raffles Institution, a secondary school in Singapore where he befriended other students who would eventually go on to become published Singaporean writers. By 1990, he had, along with other ex-school mates, Jonathan Kuan Wei Han, Tong Jo Tze, Alvin Pang and Jeffrey Lim, interested a Singapore publisher, VJ Times, in the publication of an anthology of poems contributed by the five writers; this collection, In Search of Words, was published in 1991. Lee's first collection of poems, A Visitation of Sunlight, was named one of the best books of 1997 by The Straits Times; the collection was well received and played a part in a late 1990s resurgence of interest in Singapore poetry centred on a new generation of Singapore poets. In 1999, the title poem of his book was selected for the National Arts Council’s Poems on the Move programme, a national initiative to bring poetry to the masses on public transport.

Lee’s work has been anthologised in such publications as Rhythms: a Millennial Anthology of Poetry, the New Straits Times and Fifty on 50. Lee is the co-editor of No Other City: the Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry and Love Gathers All: the Philippines- Singapore Anthology of Love Poetry, he has given talks and readings in Malaysia, the US, the Philippines and Australia. In 2007, Lee released his second poetry collection, Five Right Angles; the book went on to become a finalist in the Singapore Literature Prize awards of 2008. He is active in the literary scene in mentoring young poets and conducting school workshops and seminars on creative writing, he is married to Namiko Chan. He is a Christian, his work displays a range of Christian themes and imagery. In 2014, Lee launched Coastlands, at the Singapore Writers Festival. Coastlands documents his life experience as a pilgrim still finding his place in the wider world. A Visitation of Sunlight: Poems 1990-96 ISBN 9810095368 Five Right Angles: Poems ISBN 9789810583682 Coastlands ISBN 978-981-09-2478-2 Born in 1972, Aaron used to reside in Johor Bahru before becoming a Singaporean in 1996.

He studied at Woodlands Primary School before attending Raffles Institution after taking his PSLE. After graduating from Raffles Institution, Aaron studied law at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, he married Namiko Chan, a Singaporean painter on June 7, 2003. 10. Aaron Lee at the Poetry.sg website 11. Www.laniakea.la The Laniakea Culture Collective

Trevor Rowley

Richard Trevor Rowley FSA is an English landscape historian and archaeologist known for his work on the Welsh Marches and the medieval landscape. He was a founder fellow of Kellogg College and is now dean of degrees and emeritus fellow of Kellogg College, he was educated at the Priory Grammar School, University College London and Linacre College, Oxford. Trevor Rowley was a postgraduate student under the landscape historian W. G. Hoskins at Oxford University. After a short period teaching at a teacher training college in Birmingham, where he worked as a part-time tutor for the Birmingham University Extra-Mural Department, he returned to Oxford in 1969, he was the first Staff Tutor in Archaeology and Local Studies, in what was the Delegacy for Extra Mural Studies, based at Rewley House. During his time as Staff Tutor Director of Archaeology, he developed a thriving archaeology programme, which included conferences, professional training and excavations. From 1990 to 2000 he was the Deputy Director of what had by become the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

During this time he was responsible for several major initiatives, including collaboration with the Open University on award bearing courses, which led to the department offering the part-time postgraduate degrees, the first part-time qualification provided by Oxford University. He was responsible for creating the Oxford Experience based at Christ Church, Oxford, a popular and successful summer school programme that still runs over six weeks each summer. In 2000 he took early retirement to concentrate on full-time lecturing. For many years he was a guest lecturer for Swan Hellenic Cruises and is a guest lecturer for Voyages to Antiquity, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1973 and between 1976 and 1979 he was Honorary Secretary of the Council for British Archaeology. His current research work is on Norman landscapes and medieval Rome, He is a trustee of the Appleton Area Archaeological Research Project, investigating the history and archaeology of his home village of Appleton in Oxfordshire.

The Shropshire Landscape, 1972. Landscape Archaeology, 1974. Villages in the Landscape, 1978; the High Middle Ages, 1984. The Landscape of the Welsh Marches, 1986. Norman England, 1997; the Normans, Tempus, 1999. The 20th Century English Landscape, 2006; the Man Behind the Bayeux Tapestry, History Press, 2013 An Archaeological Study of The Bayeux Tapestry and Sword Books, 2016