Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005266
Date first listed: 26-Jun-1924
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
District: Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 95233 45133
Pershore Bridge 430m south-east of Pershore Cottage Hospital.
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. Despite partial demolition and the insertion of a road surface, the remains of Pershore Bridge 430m south east of Pershore Cottage Hospital survives comparatively well and contains a number of architectural features of considerable interest. Elements of the original structure will remain concealed behind later stone and brickwork and will provide important information on its construction and rebuilding.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 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 situated across the River Avon south of Pershore. The monument survives as a five-span bridge with additional flood arches at the north eastern and south western ends. The bridge was constructed in the 15th century and was remodelled during the 17th and 18th centuries. The bridge is constructed from sandstone with a red brick parapet and some blue brick. The bridge has a low parapet with a double dog-tooth string course, saddleback stone coping and brick relief decorations on the exterior. The parapet curves out at the south eastern corner and terminates in brick and stone piers. Of the seven arches spanning the river and flood plain, the central arch is the widest with two arches paired ether side. The principal arches have segmental heads and voussoirs and the central arch has a large keystone. The north eastern flood arch is decorated with a keystone and the south western arch is angled to match the curve of the parapet. On the eastern side of the bridge are five pointed cut waters that rise up to become pedestrian passing places on the top of the bridge. The bridge is approximately 66m long and 4m wide.
The original bridge was constructed in the 15th century by monks from Pershore Abbey. The central arch was enlarged by William Sandys about 1635 and the bridge was further repaired after it was damaged during the Civil War.
Pershore bridge is Listed Grade II*.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 321
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Pastscape Monument Nos:- 117977
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