Scheduled Monument: Packhorse bridge 75m south east of The Old Vicarage
24 April 1951
Date last amended
11 August 2003
The monument includes a packhorse bridge, believed to be of medieval date, which crosses the River Exe on the north side of Winsford. The bridge forms a footbridge on a public footpath which connects the Old Vicarage located on the north side of Winsford to St Mary Magdalene's Church. The bridge is stone built and has two segmental arches with a single course of random rubble voussoirs which are separated by a low, pointed cutwater on the upstream side. The pathway, which is ramped towards the centre of the bridge, has a cobbled surface about 1.1m wide between stone parapets walls. The walls are 0.9m high with rounded copings and each wall end is set with a single large block. The ends of the parapet walls splay outwards at both ends to a width of 5m and extend for 13.1m on the downstream side and 11.3m on the upstream side. The cobbled surface of the bridge extends on the north side of the bridge for 0.65 m and, on the south side, for 1.7m. The bridge is a Listed Building Grade II*. During the medieval period sheep farming played an important part in the Exmoor economy. Wool was spun in rural areas and transported to centres such as Dunster, located about 6km to the north east of Winsford, on pack animals. Purposely designed `hump-backed' bridges were constructed in order to allow movement during times of flood.
All wooden post and rail fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
Book Reference - Author: Jervoise, E - Title: Ancient Bridges - Date: 1930 - Page References: 110 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: The Bridges of Exmoor
Article Reference - Author: Exmoor National Park Authority - Title: The History of Exmoor Education leaflet - Date: 2002 - Page References: 3 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: 'Wool'