MSO7745 - Oare Bridge, Oare (Building)


A hump backed, single span, stone bridge over Oare Water dating from the 19th Century.

Please read the .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

'Oare Bridge' is printed on the Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 6 inch map, spanning Oare Water. [1] (SS 80214745). Oare Bridge (NAT) [2] Oare Bridge is a single-span, hump-backed stone bridge, with parapets and semi-circular head arch. It is a Scheduled Monument and Grade II Listed Building. [3] SS 802 474. Oare Bridge. Scheduled. [4] SS84NW OARE CP OARE VILLAGE 2/40 Oare bridge at NGR SS 8020 4745 22.5.69 - II Road bridge over Oare Water. Possibly C18. Random rubble local stone. Single arch span, splayed semi-circular arch, humpbacked, rubble voussoirs, hit and miss coping, parapets swept back. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 229) [5] In the literature, the bridge is conspicuous by its absence, and when mentioned is done so only in passing. Its omission from Jervoise's [7] is significant in that he probably did not consider it to be 'ancient' in 1930. Its absence from other, more general, regional guides is probably due to the attention given to the high drama of Lorna Doone's murder, set in Oare Church, which rather overshadows the limited picturesque qualities of the bridge. The Cartographic evidence suggests the bridge is a mid to late 19th century construction that replaced a ford at the same point. The absence of the bridge in maps before 1887 [8] should not necessarily be taken as evidence for absence. However it is unlikely that it would have been missed off the 1842 Tithe map [9]. It is likely that that the construction of the bridge resulted from the general need to improve communications in the region following the sale of the Royal Forest in 1820 and the subsequent agricultural improvement. A desk assessment and watching brief were undertaken during engineering works on the bridge. The desk assessment has shown that the bridge was built between 1842 and 1887, and replaced a ford at this location. The trial pits recorded a single phase of building, with no earlier surfaces. [10] The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 8. [11] The building was visited in September 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 5A. [12] The site was surveyed in May 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 3. [13] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS84NW, 1961.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1975. 1:10,000 Map, 1975. 1:10,000.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . Williton Rural District, Somerset )March 1962) 53.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Various. Scheduled Monument Notification . Department of Environment, Ancient Monuments of England 2, (1978) 124.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . Thirty-fifth List, District of West Somerset (2 January 1986) 22.
  • <6> Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Record Card. SS84NW16, 1986.
  • <7> Monograph: Jervoise, E.. 1930. The Ancient Bridges of the South of England. Architectural Press.
  • <8> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1887.
  • <9> Map: 1842. Oare Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <10> Report: McDonnell, R.. 2003. Archaeological report on a desk assessment and watching brief at Oare Bridge, Oare, Somerset.
  • <11> Report: Bray, L.S.. 2010. Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park.
  • <12> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <13> Report: Gent, T. and Manning, P.. 2015. Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015. Archaedia.
  • <14> Report: Walls, S.. 2011. HER Input Form: Recording during repairs to bridge.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35923, Extant 22 February 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8021 4745 (6m by 15m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 1076/2/40
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10673
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11973
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW16
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35923
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34587
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31164
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34587

Record last edited

Feb 22 2022 12:36PM


Your feedback is welcome. If you can provide any new information about this record, please contact us.