Scheduled Monument: PACKHORSE BRIDGE 60M NORTH EAST OF ROYAL OAK FARM
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
11 August 2003
Date last amended
The monument includes a packhorse bridge believed to be of medieval date over Winn Brook in the centre of Winsford village. The brook rises approximately 4km to the west at the head of Little Ash Combe and joins the River Exe about 150m downstream at Exe Bridge. The packhorse bridge, sometimes referred to as Winsford Smithy Bridge, is constructed from red sandstone random rubble throughout. It has a single segmental arch with a 3m span and a single course of rubble voussoirs which springs from water level. The pathway over the arch of the bridge has a cobbled surface for about 2m along its length and is 1.4m wide between the parapet walls. The walls are constructed of random rubble with up-ended rubble coping. The dimensions of the parapet walls are an average of 0.6m high and 8m long on the downstream side and an average of 0.65m high and 5.9m long on the upstream side. The bridge is a Listed Building Grade II. During the medieval period sheep farming and the woollen industry played an important part in the Exmoor economy. Wool was spun in rural areas and transported to centres, such as Dunster about 6km to the north east of Winsford, on pack animals; purposely designed `humped-backed' bridges were constructed in order to allow movement during times of flood.
All wooden fencing, and fence posts, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
Book Reference - Author: Jervoise, E - Title: The Ancient Bridges of S England - Date: 1930 - Page References: 110 - Type: DESC TEXT
Article Reference - Author: Exmoor National Park Authority - Title: The History of Exmoor Education leaflet - Date: 2002 - Page References: 3 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: 'Wool'