Since medieval times, Taunton flourished as a market town. Its prominence in the cloth trade was also established early on. From the town’s first fulling mill (recorded in 1218) and for 500 years, looms and fulling mills (driven by the Tone) were one of the chief sources of employment. In the 18th century, improvements to the Tone made it easier for boats to reach Coal Orchard by the Tone Bridge. Today, Coal Orchard car park recalls this important trading place, opposite North Town Wharf, which stood just behind this pub.