Stoke Canon Bridge


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Devon (District Authority)
Stoke Canon
National Grid Reference:
SX 93787 97590


Multi span bridge with arched abutments at Stoke Cannon.

Reasons for Designation

Multi span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the medieval period for the use of pedestrians and packhorse or vehicular traffic, crossing rivers or streams, often replacing or supplementing earlier fords. Most stone or brick bridges were constructed with pointed arches, although semicircular and segmental examples are also known. A common medieval feature is the presence of stone ashlar ribs underneath the arch. The bridge abutments and revetting of the river banks also form part of the bridge. Where medieval bridges have been altered in later centuries, original features are sometimes concealed behind later stonework. The roadway was often originally cobbled or gravelled. The building and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by the church and by guilds, although landowners were also required to maintain bridges.

Despite historic widening and partial rebuilding, the bridge at Stoke Canon survives well and contains many interesting architectural features from its adaptation and long term use. Many of the older elements of the structure will remain concealed behind later stonework and still form the core of the structure, which has adapted to changing use conditions through time as part of its unique history.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a multi span bridge with arched abutments situated across the River Culm at Stoke Canon. The monument survives as a three span bridge with a single arched abutment to the north and a three arched abutment to the south. The bridge is a 15th century rebuilding of a medieval structure, which was widened and partly rebuilt in early 19th century. The bridge is constructed from dressed Thorverton stone. The bridge over the mainstream of the river has chamfered segmental arches and piers with cutwaters on both up and downstream sides. The bridge has low parapets with saddle-back coping, replaced with concrete in places. To the north is a double-chamfered two centred flood arch. The east side of the flood arch and both sides of the main stream arches were widened in the early 19th century with unchamfered segmental arches with stringcourses above at road level, enclosing the medieval bridge. To the south is a long abutment with two early 19th century flood arches and a mill race arch at its southernmost end, all with segmental arches without stringcourses above. In total the bridge and abutments are up to 270m long.

The bridge was mentioned in a will of 1296. In 1326 Bishop Stapledon gave £4 for the upkeep of the bridge. In the 17th century, Ogilby described it during his journey to Truro from Exeter. In 1809 James Green, the County Surveyor, stated that "the whole bridge requires considerable repair".

The bridge and arched abutments are Listed Grade II*.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
DV 212
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 448219


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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