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HER Number:MDV494
Name:Bideford Quay

Summary

The earliest recorded quay was constructed in 1663, and was later expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries. The present quay is still much the same as it was at the beginning of the 20th century.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 454 266
Map Sheet:SS42NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBideford
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBIDEFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS42NE/7

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • QUAY (XVII to XXI - 1601 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Torridge District Council, Bideford Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Action Plan for 1996-1999, 5, Fig. 3 (Un-published). SDV345901.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SS42NE32 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV18957.

Bideford Quay. The 19th century quay was widened in 1905. Warehouses and the site of the old ropewalk survive.

Department of National Heritage, 19/04/1993, Bideford, 223 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338459.

There is a series of 37 cast-iron fence posts, identical in design, along the quay between Bridgeland Street and Bideford Bridge. Most dated 1847, one 1892. The surface-level of the quay has clearly risen considerably, and probably the founder's name is on the buried sections of the posts. There is a gap in the centre of the series, corresponding roughly to the present working quay. Photographs of the early 1880s show chains hanging from the tops of the posts.

Boyle, V. C., 1932, The Bideford Polackers, 112 (Article in Serial). SDV15290.

In the mid 19th century the quay had vessels three abreast.

Minchinton, W., 1974, Devon at Work, Past and Present, 72, Photo (Monograph). SDV18958.

Devon County Council, 1975, Bideford Town Trail, 77 (Article in Monograph). SDV352469.

The former limits of the quay are marked by stones let into the pavements.

Minchinton, W. E., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon, 2 (Monograph). SDV7016.

The quay is still much the same as it was in the 19th century and the site of the old ropewalk is still visible. The ropewalk was closed in 1886. Some warehouses survive.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 91 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The site of the quay was probably used as the landing place for shipping long before the first quay was constructed about the end of the 16th century. The original quay ran for 430 feet north from Conduit Street and was subsequently extended north to Bridgeland Street after it was laid out in the 1690s, and south towards the bridge in 1758. It was considerably widened in the 19th century.

Pye, A. R., 1989, Bideford Waterfront Tidal Defence Scheme. An Archaeological Assessment, Fig. 1 (Report - Assessment). SDV15239.

Much of the present quay and riverside walling at Bideford is no older than the 19th century, and the main town quay was built forward into the river at the turn of the century.

Pye, A. R. + Simpson, S. J., 1991, Bideford Waterfront NRA Tidal Defence Scheme: Historical Survey and Part 1 Archaeological Survey, 4, Fig. 3 (Report - Survey). SDV15240.

The medieval waterfront is thought to have run from a point near the south end of Mill Street, northwards along the east side of Queen Street and, perhaps along King Street. The earliest recorded quay was constructed in 1663. A survey of 1676 describes a quay 428 feet long, level at its southern end with Conduit Lane and at its northern end with the junction of Cooper Street and Queen Street. It was later extended parallel to Queen Street and south to the bridge. The earliest surviving town plan (mid 18th century) shows an 'established key', of dimensions corresponding with those of the 1676 survey, with a shipyard at its northern end. The 1889 Ordnance Survey map shows some modifications, probably including a further expansion of the quay onto the foreshore. Further expansion took place in 1889 when Potters' Pill was infilled (it is now Kingsley Road) and overlain by a railway which ran onto the quay until its closure in 1916.

Pye, A., 1992, Bideford Town Quay, 117-124 (Article in Serial). SDV18962.

Weddell, P. J., 1993, Archaeological Assessment of a Development Site at Mill Street/Queen Street, Bideford, 4 (Report - Assessment). SDV18954.

The 1663 quay is described in a 'Survey of the Port of Exon' made in 1676. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the quay was extended first to the north to the newly laid out Bridgeland Street circa 1690, then to the south to the Long Bridge. By 1828 the quay was circa 365 metres long. Further widening took place in 1889 when its appearance was enhanced with a tree-lined promenade.

Reed, S. J., 2002, Archaeological Recording on the Bideford Tidal Defence Scheme 2001-2002 (Report - non-specific). SDV18955.

Archaeological recording was undertaken by Exeter Archaeology in 2001 and 2002 during construction work for Bideford Tidal Defences. The work was located along the quay wall between SX45462647 and SX45562685 to the north of Long Bridge. The quay wall, first shown on the Ordnance Survey 1904 map was up to 5.75 metres high with footings 2.5 metres below the surface. Little quayside furniture survived but reclamation deposits and a cobbled surface associated with 19th and 20th century expansion of the quay were recorded behind the quay wall.

Torridge District Council, 2003, Bideford Townscape Heritage Initiative Stage 2 Bid, 6 (Un-published). SDV345899.

In the 16th century Bideford was building ships of over 100 tons, amongst the largest in the West Country, and by the end of the 17th cenutry, its trade was such that only the ports of London and Topsham exceeeded the number of ships leaving Bideford. This huge increase in shipping led to the building of Bideford's Quay, with 430 feet of Quay wall being constructed in 1664. There followed a further three extensions, both northwards and southwards, with the 2003/03 flood defence scheme extending and partly heighteneing the quay to the east.

Rushton, N., 2006, River Torridge Pipeline, Bideford, Devon: Rapid Archaeological Appraisal, 7-8 (WA 56) (Report - Interim). SDV342463.

Torridge District Council, 2009, Bideford Conservation Area Appraisal, 12, Photos (Report - non-specific). SDV351295.

Whilst the Quay is still a working port with a substantial throughput of aggregates, raw materials and clay extracts, a small but flourishing fishing industry and the offices and berthing facility for the
Oldenburg, the Lundy Island service vessel, the hustle and bustle associated with a traditional small port has measurably declined.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15239Report - Assessment: Pye, A. R.. 1989. Bideford Waterfront Tidal Defence Scheme. An Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 89.13. A4 Stapled + Digital. Fig. 1.
SDV15240Report - Survey: Pye, A. R. + Simpson, S. J.. 1991. Bideford Waterfront NRA Tidal Defence Scheme: Historical Survey and Part 1 Archaeological Survey. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 91.01. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4, Fig. 3.
SDV15290Article in Serial: Boyle, V. C.. 1932. The Bideford Polackers. The Mariner's Mirror. 18. Unknown. 112.
SDV18954Report - Assessment: Weddell, P. J.. 1993. Archaeological Assessment of a Development Site at Mill Street/Queen Street, Bideford. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 93.37. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4.
SDV18955Report - non-specific: Reed, S. J.. 2002. Archaeological Recording on the Bideford Tidal Defence Scheme 2001-2002. Exeter Archaeology Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV18957Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SS42NE32. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV18958Monograph: Minchinton, W.. 1974. Devon at Work, Past and Present. Devon at Work, Past and Present. 72, Photo.
SDV18962Article in Serial: Pye, A.. 1992. Bideford Town Quay. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 50. Paperback Volume. 117-124.
SDV338459List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of National Heritage. 19/04/1993. Bideford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 223.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 91.
SDV342463Report - Interim: Rushton, N.. 2006. River Torridge Pipeline, Bideford, Devon: Rapid Archaeological Appraisal. Wessex Archaeology Report. 62220.01. A4 Stapled. 7-8 (WA 56).
SDV345899Un-published: Torridge District Council. 2003. Bideford Townscape Heritage Initiative Stage 2 Bid. Torridge District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6.
SDV345901Un-published: Torridge District Council. Bideford Conservation Area Partnership Scheme. Action Plan for 1996-1999. Torridge District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 5, Fig. 3.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #93486 ]
SDV351295Report - non-specific: Torridge District Council. 2009. Bideford Conservation Area Appraisal. Torridge District Council Planning Guidance. Digital. 12, Photos.
SDV352469Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Bideford Town Trail. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 77.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume + Digital. 2.

Associated Monuments

MDV43271Parent of: Slipway, Bideford (Monument)
MDV43272Parent of: Slipway, Bideford (Monument)
MDV43270Parent of: Steps, Bideford Quay (Monument)
MDV98906Related to: Cast Iron Fence Posts Between Bridgeland Street and Bideford Bridge (Building)
MDV43291Related to: Shipwright's Yard, Bideford (Monument)
MDV107164Related to: The Pill, Bideford (Monument)
MDV18275Related to: The Strand Ropewalk, Bideford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4517 - Archaeological Appraisal of River Torridge Pipeline Routes, Bideford, Devon

Date Last Edited:Oct 3 2019 12:56PM