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Building Dating & Analysis
The following pages represent an ongoing project dedicated to the dating and analysis of the buildings in Watchet.

In addition wherever possible giving some information concerning the occupancy and the activities of previous owners.

Even at this early stage eight individual properties in Swain Street have revealed interior features that indicate a date pre 1700, there will undoubtedly be others to follow.

An important feature are the Watchet shops - a high proportion of which retain much of their Victorian and Edwardian façades. Watchet can claim to have more examples than the county town of Taunton.

The Society would welcome any comments regarding these buildings and their former businesses.

The Library Watchet Council Chamber and Offices
The Watchet Council Chamber is a small single storey building attached to The Old Court House, No 5 Swain Street, comprising a chamber, an office, a small kitchen and toilet. It stands as a modest memorial to the strong and determined people of Watchet in the face of great adversity arising from the great storm of December 1900.

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The Library The Library / Lifeboat Station
The town library is situated on the Esplanade and was originally the Lifeboat House. The basic fabric of the building is much the same although a number of features were lost following the conversion which can be observed from the before and after photographs.


Myrtle Cottage The Court House (Myrtle Cottage), Swain Street
A distinctive house with a nineteenth century portico adjacent to the Town Council Chamber, Myrtle Cottage as it was called was formerly the home and studio of Watchet's pioneering photographer James Date.

Watchet was indeed fortunate in having James Date's photographic skills as he recorded many of the exciting changes and developments of the 1860's and 1870's in the town and harbour.


Beachstone House Beachstone House, 46 - 47 Swain Street
Built circa 1905 of red brick and sandstone by Walter Foy, Watchmaker and Jeweller and staunch methodist.

Very much as it was when Walter Foy had it built. With only minor alterations it is an excellent example of an Edwardian shop front with a number of interesting features.

On close inspection of the brickwork there is clear evidence that an awning was fitted. Above the signboard there is indication of a dentil cornice which could be replaced.


The Georgian House The Georgian House, Swain Street
Looking at old houses is to experience a form of time travel. This is particularly evident when visiting the Georgian House in Swain Street. Its facade is classically Georgian and suggests a date of c.1750. It was without a doubt an important building in 18th century Watchet (its origins however are much older).

Entering through the front door you are immediately aware of the impressive staircase (18th Century) and particularly the small period fireplace.


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