List entry

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: Allerford packhorse bridge, immediately north of Cross Lane Farm

List entry Number: 1020776

Location

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

County District District Type Parish
SomersetWest SomersetDistrict AuthoritySelworthy

National Park: EXMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Sep-2002

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35324

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

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

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 examples that retain significant medieval and post- medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance.

Allerford packhorse bridge, immediately north of Cross Lane Farm survives well with no major modern refurbishment and is a good example of its class of monument, which has remained continually in use. The packhorse bridge is well known and provides an important focal point in a village which is very popular with tourists.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a medieval packhorse bridge which crosses the Aller Brook between Higher Allerford and Cross Lane Farm. The bridge, which is known as Allerford packhorse bridge, is constructed in red sandstone random-rubble with two arches separated by a central pillar which has an angled cutwater on the eastern, upstream side. The arches are segmental in shape with random-rubble voussoirs and those on the western, downstream side have a slightly flattened shape. The bridge pathway is of cobbled stone with an average width of 1.3m between coped parapet walls which are 0.5m high and 0.3m wide. The parapet walls on the north side of the bridge splay outwards and extend for a further 1.9m on the west side. A deep ford is located adjacent to the east side of the packhorse bridge. The bridge is Listed Grade II*. All fencing and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Other
SS 94 NW 17, National Monuments Record,

National Grid Reference: SS 90512 46923

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2014 at 06:14:55.