Packhorse bridge S of St Peter's Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004784
Date first listed: 05-Dec-1928
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 51310 91559
Single span packhorse bridge 70m south-west of Brook Cottage.
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. During the early medieval period timber was used, but from the 12th century stone (and later brick) bridges became more common, with the piers sometimes supported by a timber raft. 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, including remains of earlier timber bridges. 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. From the mid-13th century the right to collect tolls, known as pontage, was granted to many bridges, usually for repairs; for this purpose many urban bridges had houses or chapels on them, and some were fortified with a defensive gateway. Medieval multi-span bridges must have been numerous throughout England, but most have been rebuilt or replaced and less than 200 examples are now known to survive. As a rare monument type largely unaltered, surviving examples and examples that retain significant medieval and post-medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance.
The single span packhorse bridge 70m south west of Brook Cottage survives well and is an unusual small arched bridge which may date to the medieval period. Archaeological deposits may survive beneath and surrounding the bridge which will provide information on its construction and date.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 June 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
The monument includes a single span packhorse bridge spanning Eaton Brook, south of the village of Rushbury. It is a small and narrow field bridge constructed of rubble stone and ashlar. The bridge includes a single segmental arch with dressed stone voussoirs replaced in the centre of the arch with rubble stones set on their edge and ashlar splayed abutments. The bridge has no parapet, typical of early packhorse bridge, built so that horses with their panniers on could travel across without obstruction. The monument is also listed at Grade II. The bridge is possibly medieval in origin.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SA 30
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
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