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Dunball is located in Somerset
Dunball shown within Somerset
OS grid reference ST311409
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TA7
Dialling code 01278
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°09′38″N 2°59′13″W / 51.1605°N 2.987°W / 51.1605; -2.987Coordinates: 51°09′38″N 2°59′13″W / 51.1605°N 2.987°W / 51.1605; -2.987

Dunball is a small hamlet west of the village of Puriton and close to the town of Bridgwater, Somerset, England.

Just north of Dunball is Down End which is the site of Down End Castle a motte-and-bailey castle,[1] which has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[2]

Located on the A38, adjacent to Junction 23 of the M5 motorway, it hosts a wharf on the River Parrett, created in 1844 by Bridgwater coal merchants,[3] which is the only part of the Port of Bridgwater still in commercial use today. Dunball also has a small industrial estate, built on the site of the Royal Ordnance Factory's hostel blocks; and a hotel.

Hotel at Dunball with its 21st century additions (the left and right bays and side wings). It was originally known as the Greenhill Arms, after the Greenhill family who were Lords of the Manor of Puriton until 1920. In the 1980s and 1990s it became the Henry Fielding, adopting its present name in the early 2000s after extensive rebuilding

The wharf was formerly linked to the Bristol and Exeter Railway by a rail track which crossed the A38, on the right hand side of the hotel. The link was built in 1876 by coal merchants, and was originally operated as a horse-drawn tramway. It was removed during the Beeching Axe and Dunball also lost its railway station on 5 October 1964, which had opened in 1873. The wharf was used during World War II to bring Welsh coal to the nearby Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Bridgwater. The wharf is now used for landing stone products, mainly marine sand and gravels dredged in the Bristol Channel.

The King's Sedgemoor Drain drains into the River Parrett at Dunball, adjacent to the wharf, via a clyse. The clyse has been moved from its original location and it now obstructs the entrance to a small harbour adjacent to the wharf. During the Winter flooding of 2013–14 on the Somerset Levels high volume pumps from the Netherlands were installed at Dunball.

River silt was dredged from the river in this locality in order to make Bath bricks, an early cleaning material.

Port of Bridgwater[edit]

Under an 1845 Act of Parliament the Port of Bridgwater extends from Brean Down to Hinkley Point in Bridgwater Bay, and parts of the rivers Parrett (to Bridgwater), River Brue and River Axe. Although no ships now dock in the town of Bridgwater; in 2001 103,613 (metric) tonnes of cargo were handled within the area of the Port Authority (compared to more than 200,000 tons (approximately equivalent to metric tonnes) in 1878), most of which were stone products through the wharf at Dunball.


  1. ^ Gathercole, Clare. "An archaeological assessment of Down End" (PDF). Somerset Extensive Urban Survey. Somerset County Council. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Motte with two baileys immediately east of Bristol Road, Down End". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Farr, Grahame (1954). Somerset Harbours. London: Christopher Johnson. p. 116. 

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