Bridport Past - Gerald GoslingChichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd., 1999, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good+ — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Faint scuff to the upper panel of the dust wrapper, a very good copy otherwise.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Facsimiles; Frontispiece;
From the cover: “Bridport has a long history. Already important in the ninth century, the town, centred in all likelihood around St Mary’s Church, was home to one of four Dorset mints. There was still a moneyer at the time of Domesday Book, where Bridport is listed second, after Dorchester, of the Dorset boroughs. Its medieval prosperity was largely based on the making of ropes, nets and sailcloths; King John in 1213 ordered the sheriff to cause to be made at Bridport, night and day, as many ropes for ships both large and small as they could and twisted yarns for cordage. The industry survives and having served Drake and Hawkins, Nelson and Beatty, not to mention the hangman’s noose at Tyburn, it still produces the world’s finest ropes and the nets for Wimbledon and Wembley.
Ship-building also contributed to the strength of the Royal Navy… busy yards flourished here for a century after 1779, and during the Napoleonic Wars all but one of 20 naval vessels built in Dorset were launched at Bridport. The town continued to send two M.P.s to Westminster until the Great Reform Act swept away much municipal corruption, although bribery, as we discover, did not entirely disappear with the advent of democracy! Though roads were improving, it was the coming of a railway link in 1857 that led to the growth of the tourist trade as visitors began to explore the charm of rural West Dorset, of which Bridport is the natural centre. Someone once said that Bridport has no history. This well-researched and very readable book proves him wrong, very convincingly. It will be warmly welcomed by local folk and their many visitors alike.”