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HER Number:MDV8240
Name:Fingle Bridge

Summary

Fingle bridge over the River Teign was first built in the later 16th or early 17th century and by 1665 was described as decayed. The present bridge, constructed in granite, has three segmental arches carried by massive piers. The cutwaters are surmounted by recesses and the parapets are 2 metres apart. Previously Scheduled as well as Listed, but de-scheduled in 2016.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 743 899
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDrewsteignton
Civil ParishMoretonhampstead
DistrictTeignbridge
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDREWSTEIGNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/13
  • Old SAM County Ref: 121
  • Old SAM Ref: 34442
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78NW1

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ROAD BRIDGE (Built, XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1650 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 09/02/1990, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter (Correspondence). SDV257404.

Scheduled monument consent granted for the repointing of joints in the masonry.

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, 564M/15/139,15/141,15/147 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Illustrations by Swete.

Burnard, R., 1893, Dartmoor Pictorial Records, 34 (Article in Serial). SDV350411.

Falcon, T. A., 1900, Dartmoor Illustrated, 4 (Monograph). SDV257410.

Henderson, C. + Jervoise, E., 1938, Old Devon Bridges, 41 (Monograph). SDV2296.

No bridge mentioned byLeland, and therefore it is safe to assume that no bridge stood here in the first half of 16th century. One was built soon after this date as it was in decay in 1665. The present bridge has three segmental arches carried by massive piers. The cutwaters are surmounted by recesses, and the parapets are 2 metres apart.

Department of Environment, 1952, Newton Abbot RD, 87 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV304573.

A 16th century bridge with three segmented arches and two pointed cutwaters.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 390 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Department of Environment, 1987, Moretonhampstead, 55 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337636.

Fingle bridge. Bridge over River Teign. Circa early 17th century, the arches appear to have been rebuilt in the 18th or 19th century. The original piers, abutments and cutwaters are dressed granite blocks, the rest rebuilt in dressed granite rubble with dressed granite voussoirs to arches and coping to parapet. 3-span bridge with possibly rebuilt segmental arches springing from the original abutments and piers which have triangular cutwaters on the upstream and downstream sides rising to refuges in the parapets. Parapet above most southerly arch has dressed and curved coping stones, probably a c19 repair. Swept out abutments at northern end.

Department of Environment, 1988, Drewsteignton, 25 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336831.

Road bridge over the River Teign. 16th or 17th century. Coursed blocks of massive granite ashlar tending to granite stone rubble higher up, granite ashlar voussiors and coping. The 3 segmental arches spring from vertical abutments and piers. The piers have pointed cutwaters which rise to the parapet where they provide refuges. There is no stringcourse or terminal piers. The stone rubble parapet has ashlar coping stones with rounded tops. The carriageway is narrow and ramps towards the middle.

Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.), 2000, Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 4, 31-33 (Monograph). SDV339713.

Views of Fingle bridge dted 1797 showing the 'situation of the bridge, and of the romantic Hills that environ it'.

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

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Fingle Bridge. Road bridge over the River Teign. 16th or 17th century. Coursed blocks of massive granite ashlar tending to granite stone rubble higher up, granite ashlar voussoirs and coping. The 3 segmental arches spring from vertical abutments and piers. The piers have pointed cutwaters which rise to the parapet where they provide refuges. There is no stringcourse or terminal piers. The stone rubble parapet has ashlar coping stones with rounded tops. The carriageway is narrow and ramps towards the middle. This well-preserved early bridge is set in an attrative wooded Dartmoor valley. Indeed it is one of the most popular "beauty spots" in the area. Date listed: 23rd August 1955 (Moretonhampstead) and 22nd February 1967 (Drewsteignton).

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Fingle Bridge. Multi-span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the medieval period for the use of pedestrians and packhorse or vehicular traffic, crossing rivers or streams, often replacing or supplementing earlier fords. During the early medieval period timber was used, but from the 12th century stone (and later brick) bridges became more common, with the piers sometimes supported by a timber raft. Most stone or brick bridges were constructed with pointed arches, although semicircular and segmental examples are also known. A common medieval feature is the presence of stone ashlar ribs underneath the arch. The bridge abutments and revetting of the river banks also form part of the bridge. Where medieval bridges have been altered in later centuries, original features are sometimes concealed behind later stonework, including remains of earlier timber bridges. The roadway was often originally cobbled or gravelled. The building and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by the church and by guilds, although landowners were also required to maintain bridges. From the mid-13th century the right to collect tolls, known as pontage, was granted to many bridges, usually for repairs; for this purpose many urban bridges had houses or chapels on them, and some were fortified with a defensive gateway. Medieval multi-span bridges must have been numerous throughout England, but most have been rebuilt or replaced and less than 200 examples are now known to survive. As a rare monument type largely unaltered, surviving examples and examples that retain significant medieval and post- medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance.
Fingle Bridge survives very well and although still used by some vehicular traffic, it is now primarily a focus for visitors. Architectural and archaeological information concerning the construction and development of this bridge survives within its fabric.
The monument includes a three arched granite road bridge spanning the River Teign, 1.1km south east of Drewsteignton. The bridge was built in the early part of the 17th century and much of the surviving fabric may date to this time. The three segmental arches spring from vertical abutments and piers. The piers have pointed cutwaters which rise to parapet level where they provide refuges. The carriageway measures 2m wide and is denoted by a 0.8m high rubble parapet topped with granite ashlar coping stones with rounded tops. The road carried by this bridge leads only to a car park used by some visitors to this picturesque location. The bridge is Listed Grade II*. The modern road surface is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. Date Scheduled: 26th August 1924. Date of most recent amendment: 24th April 2002.

Historic England, 2015, Removal of duplicate listing letter (Correspondence). SDV358927.

Duplicate listing removed for this bridge.

Historic England, 2016, De-scheduling of Fingle Bridge notification (Correspondence). SDV359606.

Confirmation of the decision to de-schedule the bridge; it will remain Listed.

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

List entry Description
Summary of Building
A C17 road bridge over the River Teign spanning the civil parish boundaries of Moretonhampstead and Drewsteignton at this popular picturesque location.
Reasons for Designation
Fingle Bridge, Drewsteignton, Devon, a C17 bridge, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as an important example of a C17 road bridge that is a neatly-made structure with well-constructed arches to the spans, and deep, pointed cutwaters with contemporary refuges; * Historic interest: it illustrates post-medieval bridge building techniques; * Degree of survival: the bridge has survived well; * Group value: with Iron Age hillforts of Prestonbury Castle to the east and Cranbrook Castle to the south west (scheduled monuments) and Castle Drogo (listed at Grade I) and its grounds (Registered Grade II*) to the west.
History
Of early-C17 date, Fingle Bridge was shown on Benjamin Donn's map of 1765 at which time it carried the main road from Drewsteignton to Moretonhampstead over the River Teign. In 1809 the north arch was damaged and rebuilt. The south end of the bridge spans the former leat to Fingle Mill, as shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1885. In the C21 the road carried by the bridge is no longer a through route and leads to a car park.
Details
A road bridge of early-C17 date, and partly rebuilt in 1809.
MATERIALS: constructed of coursed blocks of granite with ashlar voussoirs and coping.
DESCRIPTION: the bridge is of three spans, each with a segmental arch that springs from vertical abutments and piers. The two piers have pointed cutwaters which rise to the parapet where they are stepped out to provide refuges. The stone rubble parapet is 0.8m high and has ashlar coping stones with rounded tops. The carriageway is 2m wide and ramps towards the middle.

Office of Works, 26/08/1924, Fingle Bridge (Schedule Document). SDV257398.

A late medieval bridge with three curved arches. The piers have angular recesses at the road level. The bridge lies at the end of a small bye-road. Beyond the river there is only a trackway ascending the steep hill to the south.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SX78NW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV257412.

Site visit 19th April 1953. Bridge in excellent state of preservation. Parapets are 2 metres apart.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 390.
SDV2296Monograph: Henderson, C. + Jervoise, E.. 1938. Old Devon Bridges. Old Devon Bridges. Unknown. 41.
SDV257398Schedule Document: Office of Works. 26/08/1924. Fingle Bridge. Foolscap.
SDV257404Correspondence: Department of Environment. 09/02/1990. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV257410Monograph: Falcon, T. A.. 1900. Dartmoor Illustrated. Dartmoor Illustrated. Unknown. 4.
SDV257412Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SX78NW1. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV304573List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. Newton Abbot RD. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 87.
SDV336831List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Drewsteignton. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 25.
SDV337636List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Moretonhampstead. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 55.
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. 564M/15/139,15/141,15/147.
SDV339713Monograph: Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.). 2000. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 4. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Sw. 4. Hardback Volume. 31-33.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #108253 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350411Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1893. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. 3. Unknown. 34.
SDV358927Correspondence: Historic England. 2015. Removal of duplicate listing letter. Removal of Buildings from List. Digital.
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV359606Correspondence: Historic England. 2016. De-scheduling of Fingle Bridge notification. Removal of Site from Schedule. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV114186Related to: Fingle Bridge Inn, Chagford (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6046 - Archaeological Survey of National Trust Teign Valley Properties (Ref: 6764)
  • EDV7430 - Woodland Survey (1985) in Wray Cleave, Sanduck Wood, Caseley Wood, Kings Wood and Fingle Woods

Date Last Edited:Mar 27 2020 9:13AM