Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006242
Date first listed: 12-Feb-1935
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Somerset (District Authority)
Parish: Brompton Regis
National Park: EXMOOR
National Grid Reference: SS 94467 27456
Medieval multi span bridge known as Bury 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. 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 those that retain significant medieval and post-medieval fabric such as the medieval multi span bridge known as Bury Bridge are considered to be of national importance. It will retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, maintenance and development through time.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 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 medieval multi span bridge situated in the settlement of Bury and crossing the River Haddeo at a natural ford, a vehicular ford is still is use beside the bridge. The bridge survives as a narrow four arched structure, with two pointed arches to the south and two semi-circular arches to the north, three square cutwaters on the downstream side and three pointed cutwaters on the central upstream side. The parapets are stone built. The carriageway is approximately 1.6m wide and has a cobbled surface with some later asphalt repairs. The bridge lies on the line of an ancient road called ‘Fort Lane’ and is used by light vehicles. Although the exact date is not known, this narrow packhorse bridge is of medieval origin with subsequent alterations.
The bridge is Listed Grade II*.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SO 11
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-36543
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