Paddleford Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020935

Date first listed: 26-Nov-1928

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Jan-2003


Ordnance survey map of Paddleford Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Rewe

National Grid Reference: SX 95208 99808


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Medieval and early post-medieval single span bridges are structures designed to carry a road or track over a river by means of a single arch, typically 3m- 6m in span. They were constructed throughout the medieval period, most commonly using timber. Stone began to be used instead of timber in the 12th century and became increasingly common in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many medieval bridges were repaired, modified or extensively rebuilt in the post- medieval period. During the medieval period the construction and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by large estates and the Church, especially monastic institutions which developed long distance packhorse routes between their landholdings. Some stone built medieval bridges still survive. These can be classified into three main types based on the profile of the arch which is typically pointed, semi-circular or flattened. 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. Bridges were common and important features of medieval towns and the countryside and allowed easy access along a well developed road and trackway system. However, only around 16 largely unaltered medieval single span bridges have so far been recognised to survive in England. All these are considered to be of national importance. A larger number retain significant medieval or post-medieval remains, allowing the original form of the bridge to be determined. These examples are also nationally important.

Paddleford Bridge survives in an excellent state of preservation on a minor country road which is subject to weight restrictions. As a result it has not been subjected to any major modern strengthening works. Although there has been some rebuilding of the eastern arch, Paddleford Bridge retains original masonry features of very good quality and it will provide evidence of bridge construction techniques of the period around 1700.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes Paddleford Bridge, a stone-built road bridge of the late 16th or early 17th century which crosses the River Culm about 500m east of the village of Rewe. The bridge has two segmental arches, both originally constructed of volcanic trap ashlar. The eastern arch is the larger of the two with a span of 6.7m whilst the western arch is smaller with a span of 4.4m. Both arches are double-chamfered on both the upstream and downstream sides. The smaller arch has original soffits (the underside build of the arch) of volcanic ashlar, whilst the larger has rebuilt soffits utilising brick in addition to the volcanic ashlar; this has produced a skew to the arch. Pointed cutwaters carried upwards on the exterior provide pedestrian recesses at road level on both sides of the bridge. The bridge is provided with a chamfered string-course and a parapet wall of volcanic and local stone, 1.1m in height and topped by chamfered, flat-topped coping stones. The parapets angle out at either end of the bridge to act as revetments. The total length of the bridge is about 18m and it is 5.4m wide inclusive of a roadway width of about 4.7m; it has a maximum height of about 4m. The bridge is considered to have been constructed about the year 1700 with some rebuilding of the eastern arch attributable to a later century. The bridge is Listed Grade II*. The modern tarmac surfacing of the carriageway across the bridge is excluded from the scheduling, although the bridge fabric below this is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 33043

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Jervoise, E , Old Devon Bridges, (1938), 56

End of official listing