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Pill Bridge

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Pill Bridge

List entry Number: 1006214

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: South Somerset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ilchester

County: Somerset

District: South Somerset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Long Sutton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Nov-1948

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: SO 186

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Multi span bridge called Pill Bridge.

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. The multi span bridge called Pill Bridge survives well and has an important place in the social and economic history of this area.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 July 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 which crosses the River Yeo (Ivel) carrying the Pill Bridge Drove. The bridge survives as a stone built structure measuring approximately 16m long with three semi circular arches, two piers on each side, splayed abutments, parapets standing up to 1m high and a narrow 1.3m wide walkway. There are buried cobbled approaches to the bridge and a cobbled ford nearby. Pill Bridge was built in the 13th century although the present bridge is of 17th century date. The lessees of Brook Ilchester in 1530 agreed to maintain the bridge during their tenancy, and their successor in title was required to make repairs in the mid 18th century. In 1699 a warehouse was built close to the bridge together with a house. A building known as the ‘Pill Bridge House’ survived until around 1805. The Lockyer family are documented as leasing the house and warehouse and they took tolls from all traffic between their wharves below the bridge and the town of Ilchester until the end of the 18th century.

The bridge is Listed Grade II.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:-196532

National Grid Reference: ST 50005 23392

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Oct-2017 at 11:14:52.

End of official listing