Somerset - Bridgwater Surrounds

Sharp collected 247 songs from 67* singers in the area around Bridgwater (roughly corresponding to today’s Sedgemoor District). It’s low-lying land stretching eastwards towards Glastonbury, westwards to the Quantock Hills and northwards towards Highbridge). 

*37 men, 30 women. Their average age was 63. Of the male workforce of 36: 14 were agricultural labourers; 7 other land-related (gamekeeper, shepherd, turf-cutters etc); 6 were quarrymen/stone masons/brickworker; 4 in retail/services (baker, grocer, publican, carrier); 2 crafts (shoemaker, blacksmith); 3 others incl gypsy hawker, policeman and farmer.

The female workforce was much smaller - 2 domestic servants, 1 each dressmaker, laundress, field worker, bag mender, pub landlady and a monthly nurse. Total 8. 

Map Illustration by Tom Jay.