Summary of Monument
Multi span bridge called Barle Bridge.
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. Despite modification, repair and restoration the multi span bridge called Barle Bridge retains many original features and its form.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 August 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a multi span bridge which crosses the River Barle in the settlement of Dulverton. The bridge survives as a five span stone built structure with pointed arches, pointed cutwater buttresses and a flat topped parapet. Medieval in origin, the bridge was repaired in 1624, widened in 1819 by John Stone, repaired in 1866 and 1952-3 following flood damage. A tablet on the parapet exterior bears the inscription ‘This bridge repaired in the year of Our Lord God 1624’ and ‘John Stone 1819’. The bridge still carries vehicular traffic.
The bridge is listed Grade II.
PastScape Monument No:-36559
National Grid Reference: SS 91207 27823