MSO8843 - Hele Bridge (Building)


A medieval stone bridge of three arches over the River Exe.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

It has three pointed arches and massive cutwaters on the upstream side. It was repaired c1624-1628. [1] Hele Bridge, Dulverton across the River Exe is 16th Century. [2] [SS 93302782] Hele B.R. [NR] The Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division 6 inch map also shows an 'aqueduct', presumably connected with Machine Cross Mill to the east. [3] This bridge has been widened on the downstream side, but otherwise it is as described above. [4, 5] Ogilby, in 1675, includes the road from Hele Bridge to Dulverton in his Bridgwater-Barnstaple road. [6] Hele Bridge is a road bridge over the River Exe. It is medieval in origin, was repaired in 1628 and 1866, and widened on the south side in 1892 by G.B. Fisher for Somerset County Council. It is built of random rubble local stone with rubble voussoirs and hit-and-miss coping to the parapet. The south side has squared, irregularly coursed local stone with blue glazed brick voussoirs and saddleback coping. It has a three arch span; 4-centred arches on the north side flanking pointed cutwaters with rubble tops, circular iron tie above apex of centre arch the earlier parapet seems to have extended to the top of the cutwaters and is visible in the south-west corner. South side, semi-circular headed arches, pointed cutwater between with parapet extended along the line of the cutwaters to form recesses similar to those found on medieval packhorse bridges. The soffits of the arches have been extended in brick on the south side and would appear to indicate two periods of building. This is an interesting example of how a medieval bridge has been adapted to modern needs. [7] The building was visited in March 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 4A. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11]

Sources/Archives (11)

  • <1> Monograph: Jervoise, E.. 1930. The Ancient Bridges of the South of England. Architectural Press. P.111.
  • <2> Monograph: Thompson, W.H.. 1934. Somerset Regional Survey. P.57.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560. SS92NW.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 August 1965. SS92NW9.
  • <5> Photograph: Pitcher, S.. 1965. Hele Bridge at Brompton Regis/Dulverton. OS65/F186/3. B/W. MICROFILM.
  • <6> Monograph: Bently, J.B. + Murless, B.J.. 1985. Somerset Roads.
  • <7> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . 36th List, District of West Somerset. 04/08/1986.
  • <8> Monograph: Dulverton and District Civic Society. 2002. The Book of Dulverton, Brushford, Bury and Exebridge. Halsgrove. P.12, 62, Photographs.
  • <9> Monograph: Siraut, M.. 2009. Exmoor: The Making of an English Upland. Phillimore & Co. Ltd. 1st Edition. P.67, 99, Photograph.
  • <10> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36546, Extant 11 April 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 9330 2782 (35m by 14m) Estimated from sources
Map sheet SS92NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (4A): 1648/9/53
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10828
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11069
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9328
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 92 NW9
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36546
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31384
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33366

Record last edited

Apr 11 2022 1:11PM


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