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HER Number:MDV11027
Name:Sidford Bridge


Former pack horse bridge said to date from the 12th century. The parapets of the pack horse bridge were left in position when the road and bridge were widened in 1930 and the footpath now runs between them. The old bridge has two segmental arches with the modern concrete bridge built against its south side.


Grid Reference:SY 137 899
Map Sheet:SY18NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSidmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSALCOMBE REGIS
Ecclesiastical ParishSIDBURY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY18NW/29
  • Old SAM County Ref: 273
  • Old SAM Ref: 33040

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PACKHORSE BRIDGE (Built, XII - 1101 AD to 1200 AD (Between))

Full description


A very narrow double-arched bridge situated at the point where the snod brook joins the river sid on the e side of the village of sidford. It is listed at grade ii. In earlier times the bridge would have carried packhorse traffic over the river as part of the coastal routeway between exeter and lyme regis, carted traffic would have crossed at the ford. The fabric of the bridge is considered to be medieval although it has had some repair, principally, a recorded renovation of 1930 which has reinforced the banking at the base of the arches; this was carried out at the same time as the widening of the adjacent roadbridge which lies immediately alongside the packhorse bridge on its s side. The bridge is rubble built largely of local stone but with triangular shaped coping stones of dartmoor granite topping the parapet walls and ashlar blocks for the arches. It comprises 2 segmental arches, a higher and wider arch bridging the sid which has a span of about 6.3m and a height of about 3.2m above the river level, and a smaller arch across the snod brook which has a span of about 4.7m and a height of 2.55m. The 2 arches are connected by masonry across the 6m wide spit of land where the 2 waterways come together. Short additional causeways at either end of the bridge account for its maximum length being approx 30m. The parapets have a maximum height of 1.45m, whilst the actual carriageway over the bridge is no more than about 1.25m wide within a maximum bridge width of about 2m. Located on the s side of the bridge, more or less centrally, is a brass plaque which reads "this pack-horse dates from about the year 1100ad it was preserved in its original shape and construction on the widening of the bridge in 1930". The bridge of 1930 lies immediately to the s alongside the packhorse bridge. The date of 1100 may be fanciful and too early for the bridge which stands there but it does confirm that the bridge has been considered to be of great antiquity in past times. Excluded from the scheduling is the modern tarmac surfacing of the foot carriageway across the bridge, the bridge fabric below this is however included (mpp).

Unknown, Unknown (Migrated Record). SDV1416.

Illustrations of sidbury bridge by swete (dro) location uncertain.

Salvatore, J. P., Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV23685.

Vis=1/6/2001 (salvatore) sidford packhorse bridge, church street.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=14/4/1950 (os) the bridge is in excellent condition and now carries the modern footpath across the sid. A plaque on the bridge reads: "county of devon. This packhorse bridge dates from about the year 1100 a. D. It was preserved in its original shape and condition on the widening of the bridge in 1930. Brian s. Miller, clerk. ".

Ancient Monuments, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115919.

Sidford packhorse bridge. Os 6" sheet no. Lxxx ii se of 2 nearly semi-circular arches, against which a new road bridge has been built (ancient monuments).

NMR CITING SAINSBURY, Untitled Source (Report - Survey). SDV115924.

Vis=6/3/1989 (os) this double arched packhouse bridge at the confluence of the sid and snod brooks is in excellent condition being renovated in 1930 and left in situ with the modern road bridge (sidford bridge) built onto its s side. It does not carry the modern road but a footpath on the n side. The present structure may be medieval but is unlikely to be as early as 1100ad (nmr citing sainsbury).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115927.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115928.

Des=robinson, r. /list of fmw visits/(19/1/1983)in smr.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115929.

Dro=564m/9/185(illustrations by swete).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115930.

Ea/archaeological assessment of the sidmouth sewage transfer and treatment evaluation/(1997)5/(ea report 97.10).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115931.

Pevsner, n. /the buildings of england: south devon/(1952)261.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115932.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV115933.

Des=ancient monuments/(-/-/2001)/as above.

Fisher, J., 1999, East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Sidford, 3 (Report - non-specific). SDV346112.

O Seaneachain, D., 2017, Excavation of gas main replacment trenches and insertion pits in Sidford High Street: Monitoring (Report - Watching Brief). SDV360331.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

Sidford Bridge marked.

Historic England, 2019, National Heritage List for England, 1287481 (National Heritage List for England). SDV362730.

Sidford Bridge. Said to date from the C12. Parapets of pack horse bridge were left in position when the road and bridge were widened in 1930, and the footpath now runs between them. The old bridge has 2 segmental arches, the new concrete bridge has been built against it on the south.
Date first listed: 12th October 1951

Sources / Further Reading

SDV115919Migrated Record: Ancient Monuments.
SDV115924Report - Survey: NMR CITING SAINSBURY.
SDV115927Migrated Record:
SDV115928Migrated Record:
SDV115929Migrated Record:
SDV115930Migrated Record:
SDV115931Migrated Record:
SDV115932Migrated Record:
SDV115933Migrated Record:
SDV1416Migrated Record: Unknown. Unknown. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown.
SDV23685Report - Survey: Salvatore, J. P..
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV331Migrated Record: Unknown. MIGRATED RECORD - MONUMENT PROTECTION PROGRAMME DATA. Monument Protection Programme. Unknown.
SDV346112Report - non-specific: Fisher, J.. 1999. East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Sidford. East Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV360331Report - Watching Brief: O Seaneachain, D.. 2017. Excavation of gas main replacment trenches and insertion pits in Sidford High Street: Monitoring. Cotswold Archaeology. 3563. Digital.
SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV362730National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2019. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1287481.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7334 - Monitoring: Excavation of gas main replacment trenches and insertion pits in Sidford (Ref: 3563)

Date Last Edited:Apr 26 2019 8:53AM