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HER Number:MDV827
Name:Long Bridge, Barnstaple

Summary

The bridge is first documented in 1304. The original timber bridge was replaced in stone in 1437 with the exception of the eastern end which remained in its original form untilt he late 16th century. The bridge was partially dismantled in the Civil War and has been subsequently widened but nevertheless it still retains much 15th century work within its construction.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 557 329
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/82
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS53SE/21

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BRIDGE (XIII to XX - 1201 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 14/11/2001, Long Bridge (Correspondence). SDV76233.

Scheduled monument consent granted, subject to conditions, for the mounting of 4 green etched and enamelled aluminium circular plaques 300 millimetres diameter onto the parapet walls of the bridge to sign the south-west coast path, the Tarka Trail and national cycle routes across the bridge.


Griffith, F. M., 18/12/1985, DAP/FU, 1-6A (Aerial Photograph). SDV74027.


Department of National Heritage, 19/08/1992, Long Bridge (Correspondence). SDV76229.

Scheduled monument consent granted for repointing various elevations.


Amery, P. F. S., 1900-1901, A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789, 171 (Article in Serial). SDV18670.

Swete states "passing along a mound raised above the meadows I crossed the river on a fine bridge of 15 arches"


Harper, S., 1910, History of Barnstaple, 57, 58 (Monograph). SDV342351.


Chope, R. P., 1926 - 1927, Early Bridges, 94, 96 (Article in Serial). SDV2294.

A bequest is mentioned under the will of Bishop Stapledon of 1326 for the keepers of the bridge and its repair. There is also a bequest from Bishop Stafford in 1399 and the grant of an indulgence from Bishop Lacy in 1437 for the repair and maintenance of the bridge.


Oliver, B. W., 1938, The Long Bridge of Barnstaple, 193-197 (Article in Serial). SDV76238.

Documentary evidence indicates that the bridge was standing by 1300. Henry de Tracey, the last of the De Tracey's to hold the honour of Barnstaple endowed the bridge with a rental of 5 shillings. The bridge has 16 arches of varying span. The outer segmental arches date from 1796 and the iron work from 1832.


Oliver, B. W., 1946, The Long Bridge of Barnstaple Part 2, 177-191 (Article in Serial). SDV76239.

Suggested that the bridge was built prior to Henry de Tracey's death in 1274 as he assigned a rent for its upkeep.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 330 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Barnstaple bridge of 16 pointed arches and 700 feet long was first built in the late 13th century. The present bridge was built about 1437 but has been considerably reconstructed and widened although it still retains much medieval work.


Ministry of Transport, 1962, Barnstaple Long Bridge (Plan - measured). SDV357944.

Plans and sections of bridge giving details of sandstone masonry, layout and details of lighting columns and lanterns and general details of widening.


Pill, D. H., 1966, The Administration of the Diocese of Exeter under Bishop Veysey (Article in Serial). SDV356.


Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple Borough, 1 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV344471.


Bone, M., 1973, Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology, 11 (Monograph). SDV78228.

The ancient parapet has been replaced by iron railings which are supported by iron brackets springing front the widening of the bridge. The earliest part of the bridge is thought to date from an indulgence granted by Bishop Lacy but there was certainly a bridge here by 1312. Repairs are recorded in 1589, 1782 and 1807. The elliptical arches belong the the later date.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 72, 74 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The bridge is first documented in 1304. It was 675 metres long in total due to the causeways required over the low ground levels on either side. The original timber bridge was rebuilt in stone in 1437 with the exception of the eastern end which remained in its original form until the late 16th century. It was partially dismantled during the Civil War and has been subsequently widened but the present structure still retains much 15th century work. In addition to the causeways at either end of the bridge, a third causeway was built in the 15th century over the Yeo between Boutport Street and Pilton.


Weston, S., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits, 267 (Un-published). SDV345675.

Site visit by Department of Environment Field Monument Warden in 1982.


Weston, S., 1983, List of Field Monument Warden Visits (Un-published). SDV345481.

Site visit by Department of Environment Field Monument Warden on 14th January 1983.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CX, 13 (Aerial Photograph). SDV344087.


Griffith, F. M., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 73 (Monograph). SDV64198.

The fabric of the long bridge dates mainly from the 16th century, but there was probably a timber bridge here in Saxon times.


Exeter Archaeology, 1997, North Devon District Council Barnstaple Quay Project: Archaeological Assessment, 2-6 (Report - Assessment). SDV73005.


Exeter Archaeology, 1998, North Devon District Council Barnstaple Quay Project: Archaeological Assessment and Evaluation (Report - Evaluation). SDV85921.


Horner, B., 1999, DAP/ACE, 6 (Aerial Photograph). SDV39279.


ASI Heritage Consultants, 2000, Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV70999.


Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV73888.


Collings, A. G., 2002, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Tarka Tennis Centre, Seven Brethren Bank, Barnstaple (Report - Assessment). SDV336154.


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

Long Bridge. Road bridge over the River Taw, including causeways. 13th century in origin except for the 3 arches on the town side, replaced in 1589. Widened 3 times at least, once by James Green in 1834, most recently in the 1960s, using concrete faced with rubble. Grey rubble with ashlar arch rings to one of the later phases; rubble parapet. Approximately 159 metres long. 16 arches with the pointed medieval arches of the 3 metre (10 feet) wide original visible behind the later segmental arches; cutwaters; platband at road level; plain parapet. This is an important medieval bridge on a very large scale. Scheduled Ancient Monument. Date listed: 19th January 1951.


Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 25/01/2001, Long Bridge (Correspondence). SDV76231.

Scheduled monument consent granted for works concerning the replacement of existing street lighting and the installation of under arch lighting.


English Heritage, 26/07/2002, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, as Amended (Correspondence). SDV350447.

Letter advising that Barnstaple Bridge, Monument No. 91313, formerly DV186, has been descheduled.


Department of National Heritage, October 1997, Long Bridge (Correspondence). SDV76230.

Scheduled monument consent granted for taking down the cracked upstream cutwater to No 7 pier and its reconstruction.


Office of Works, Unknown, Barnstaple Bridge, Monument No. 186 (Schedule Document). SDV350446.

The bridge has 16 pointed arches of stone, much disguised by modern widening and carried on elliptical arches springing from the projecting piers of the original structure. The ancient parapet has been replaced by iron railings carried on the edge of the footpaths, which are supported by iron brackets springing from the widening of the bridge. The earliest part of the existing bridge is thought to date from 1437 when an indulgence was granted by Bishop Lacy but there was a bridge (probably of wood) on the site before 1312. Repairs were carried out in 1589, 1782 and 1807. The elliptical arches of the widening belong to the last mentioned date.


Friends of Archaeology ND, Unknown, Historic Barnstaple (Leaflet). SDV356772.


Devon County Council Conservation Section, Unknown, Long Bridge, Photo 411/64, 94 (Ground Photograph). SDV76237.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS53SE/21 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV76240.

Site visit 1st April 1976. Origin obscure. Bridge repaired in 1333. In the early 16th century it had 13 stone arches, much dilapidated. Three wooden arches, known as maiden arches were rebuilt in stone in 1589. Widened in 1796 when the recesses were removed, and again in 1832 when a footpath was added. Most recently widened in 1963 but medieval pointed arches can still be seen beneath the modern arches.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 330.
SDV18670Article in Serial: Amery, P. F. S.. 1900-1901. A Tour across Dartmoor into North Devon by the Rev. John Swete 1789. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Unknown. 171.
SDV2294Article in Serial: Chope, R. P.. 1926 - 1927. Early Bridges. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 14. Unknown. 94, 96.
SDV336154Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G.. 2002. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Tarka Tennis Centre, Seven Brethren Bank, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. 02.04. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 72, 74.
SDV342351Monograph: Harper, S.. 1910. History of Barnstaple. History of Barnstaple. Unknown. 57, 58.
SDV344087Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CX. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 13.
SDV344471List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple Borough. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 1.
SDV345481Un-published: Weston, S.. 1983. List of Field Monument Warden Visits. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV345675Un-published: Weston, S.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout. 267.
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350446Schedule Document: Office of Works. Unknown. Barnstaple Bridge. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap. Monument No. 186.
SDV350447Correspondence: English Heritage. 26/07/2002. Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, as Amended. Letter advising Descheduling of Monument. Letter.
SDV356Article in Serial: Pill, D. H.. 1966. The Administration of the Diocese of Exeter under Bishop Veysey. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 98. Unknown.
SDV356772Leaflet: Friends of Archaeology ND. Unknown. Historic Barnstaple. Leaflet + Digital.
SDV357944Plan - measured: Ministry of Transport. 1962. Barnstaple Long Bridge. Plans + Digital.
SDV39279Aerial Photograph: Horner, B.. 1999. DAP/ACE. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 6.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 73.
SDV70999Report - Assessment: ASI Heritage Consultants. 2000. Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment. ASI Heritage Consultants Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV73005Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 1997. North Devon District Council Barnstaple Quay Project: Archaeological Assessment. Exeter Archaeology Report. 97.80. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2-6.
SDV73888Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording at Commercial Road, Barnstaple. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.28. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV74027Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 18/12/1985. DAP/FU. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-6A.
SDV76229Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. 19/08/1992. Long Bridge. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV76230Correspondence: Department of National Heritage. October 1997. Long Bridge. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV76231Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 25/01/2001. Long Bridge. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV76233Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 14/11/2001. Long Bridge. Letter.
SDV76237Ground Photograph: Devon County Council Conservation Section. Unknown. Long Bridge. Unknown. Photo 411/64, 94.
SDV76238Article in Serial: Oliver, B. W.. 1938. The Long Bridge of Barnstaple. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 70. Hardback Volume. 193-197.
SDV76239Article in Serial: Oliver, B. W.. 1946. The Long Bridge of Barnstaple Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 177-191.
SDV76240Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS53SE/21. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV78228Monograph: Bone, M.. 1973. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. Barnstaple's Industrial Archaeology. A5 Paperback. 11.
SDV85921Report - Evaluation: Exeter Archaeology. 1998. North Devon District Council Barnstaple Quay Project: Archaeological Assessment and Evaluation. Exeter Archaeology Report. 98.44. A4 stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV12522Related to: St. Thomas a Becket's Chapel, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV16478Related to: Turnpike Road from Barnstaple to Hatherleigh (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Feb 22 2018 3:15PM