Wool Bridge


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Location Description:
Wool, Purbeck, Dorset. Located at NGR SY84451 87152.


Ordnance survey map of Wool Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1171233 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 16-Oct-2019 at 11:31:48.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Wool, Purbeck, Dorset. Located at NGR SY84451 87152.
Purbeck (District Authority)
East Stoke
Purbeck (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A C16 bridge, with later alterations, spanning the River Frome on the civil parish boundaries of Wool and East Stoke.

Reasons for Designation

Wool Bridge, Dorset is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Relative date: the bridge remains substantially a C16 structure, and the best preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset; * Architectural interest: it is a neatly-made structure with very well constructed arches to the spans, and deep, pointed cutwaters with contemporary refuges; * Group value: with Woolbridge Manor (qv), both of which feature in Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.


The placename `Wullebrigg', recorded in 1244, is associated with the site of Wool Bridge. The bridge is recorded as having crossed this point of the River Frome in 1343. The current structure is probably of C16 date and historical records indicate that repairs were carried out in 1607 and 1688. It was the first bridge ordered to be repaired as a county bridge in 1742, and some repair work was also carried out in 1806. An additional flood arch, built in the south approach causeway, is probably of late-C19 date. During the Second World War, the end arches were widened and the parapets removed for the passage of tanks. The parapets were later rebuilt using the same stone. The bridge is now closed to traffic, except pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge features in Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy due to its location next to Woolbridge Manor (qv), the home of the Turberville family. It is considered to be the best preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset.


A road bridge of c.C16 date with later repairs and C20 alterations.

MATERIALS: ashlar stone of varying types, and red brick to the south arch.

DESCRIPTION: a multi-span, curved bridge, originally of five arches but with an additional C19 flood arch to the south. The additional arch is on a different alignment. The main segmental arches are each strengthened by three wide ribs beneath. The largest arch spans just over 15ft. There are four river piers to each side, which have large cutwaters upstream and smaller ones downstream. They extend up to a low parapet where they form pedestrian refuges. The parapet has moulded coping. The initials F.T. and the date 1688 have been inscribed on a stone now reset in modern brickwork (RCHM). An 1806 date is inscribed on the face of the far right end pillar (Wallis). The surface of the bridge is modern tarmacadam.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
McFetrich, D, Parsons, J, Discover Dorset Bridges, (1998), 23
Wallis, A J , Dorset Bridges A History and Guide, (1974), 67
RCHM vol. lI, pt 2, p 406


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 20 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/15672/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Rev Andrew Salmon. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].