Cornford Bridge


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1324112

Date first listed: 11-Jul-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Jun-2015

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Caundle Brook, Cornford Hill, Bishop's Caundle, Dorset


Ordnance survey map of Cornford Bridge
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Statutory Address: Caundle Brook, Cornford Hill, Bishop's Caundle, Dorset

Location Description:

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

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Bishop's Caundle

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Holwell

National Grid Reference: ST6916112044


Road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21.

Reasons for Designation

Cornford Bridge, a multi-span road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: it is a significant example of a medieval multi-span bridge of which less than 200 examples are now known to survive in England; * Architectural interest: for such a small bridge its design shows considerable attention to detail with its various components showing a strong ecclesiastical influence; * Survival: although it was been repaired since it was built, its medieval characteristics are still evident along its length and in its vertical dimension, illustrating medieval bridge building techniques; * Historic interest: it is an ongoing testament to medieval road building in England.


Cornford Bridge, named after the field name closest to it, was built to carry the road from Bishop’s Caundle to Holwell over the Caundle Brook. It has been dated to around 1480, although it was extensively repaired in the C18. In 1994 the bridge was subjected to a major repair, strengthening and cleaning project. Further repairs were carried out in the early C21 after the parapet was damage by a vehicle strike.


Road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21.

MATERIALS: of coursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings.

DESCRIPTION: the bridge is aligned north-west to south-east and carries a road of c3m in width across the Caundle Brook. It consists of three spans of pointed arches of which those on the south-west (upstream) side have a double order of voussoirs. Only one arch on the north-east (downstream) side has this treatment. Between the arches are rubble piers. On the south-west side these have triangular-shaped cutwaters with ashlar facing which extend upwards to create pedestrian refuges. Vertical slits incised into the cutwaters appear to be an embellishment rather than having a practical use. On the north-east side the south pier has a coursed rubble cutwater but no refuge above. Its north pier retains a medieval weathered buttress of three stages. A moulded string course runs across both faces of the bridge. The parapets are mainly capped with bevelled coping stones. A small section of parapet wall on the north-east side was rebuilt in the early C21 following a vehicle strike.


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

Legacy System number: 104743

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume III, (1970), 15
Jervoise, E, The Ancient Bridges of the South of England, (1930), 79
McFetrich, D, Parsons, J, Discover Dorset Bridges, (1998), 20
Wallis, A J , Dorset Bridges A History and Guide, (1974), 76-77

End of official listing