Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005269
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)
Parish: Wyre Piddle
National Grid Reference: SO 96230 47566
Wyre Bridge 280m north of the Parish Church of Wyre Piddle.
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 rebuilding and the insertion of road and path surfaces, the remains of Wyre Bridge 280m north of the Parish Church of Wyre Piddle 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 Piddle Brook north east of its confluence with the River Avon. The monument survives as a medieval three-span bridge that was rebuilt in the early 20th century. The bridge is constructed from sandstone and ashlar with red brick vaults. The bridge has a high parapet with a string course at the base and is capped with stone coping. The central arch over the river is the widest with smaller arches ether side. The arches have round heads and stone voussoirs with keystones and the central arch has an inscribed stone above the apex. The bridge has two pointed cut waters each with a spirelet surmounted by a ball finial. The bridge is approximately 22m long and 10m wide.
The bridge was mentioned in 1599 and rebuilt and widened in 1930. The inscribed stone reads: ‘W.D.C. Wyre Bridge widened and reconstructed 1930’ and ‘portions of the original bridge were preserved in the structure’. A second plaque is inscribed with WM Bushel and a partially legible late 18th century date.
Wyre Bridge is Listed at Grade II.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 324
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Pastscape Monument No:- 117993
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