Swans on the River Brue

Winsford Packhorse Bridge

       
Bridge Name:   Winsford Packhorse Bridge
No.:   14
Location:   Winsford SS 9057 3516
Build Date:   probably medieval in origin. It was restored in 1952 following flood damage.
Engineer:  
     
       
Copyright
Description:    

Packhorse bridge at Winsford, 17th century with two segmental arches and a roadway width of 3 ft 6 ins. The packhorse bridge is at SS 90573516. Packhorse bridge close to Vicarage Bridge at Winsford. It has two semicircular arches with a total span of about 30 ft. The width between the parapets is 3 ft 6 ins. This may be the bridge referred to as having been recently "re-edificed" in the Quarter Sessions of 1628. Winsford Packhorse Bridge. Scheduled. (4 & 5) 16/3 Pack-horse Bridge (over river Exe). Listed Grade 2*. Picturesque narrow stone bridge with footway about 3' 6" wide, cobbles, stone parapets, restored following 1952 flood damage Two semi-circular head arches. Ancient Monument. The narrow bridge across the Exe at SS 90573516, some 40m W of the main bridge (Vicarage Bridge), is as described. Nonetheless, even allowing for some alteration in 1952, it is rather ornamental in appearance being built of coursed till-like stones. Also it is rather narrow for a packhorse bridge, and its parapets at 0.9m rather high. More probably a footbridge than a packhorse bridge. SS 93 NW Winsford CP Winsford Village 14/152 Packhorse bridge over River Exe at NGR SS 90573516 6.4.59 GV Grade II* Packhorse bridge over River Exe. Medieval in origin, restored 1952. Flat bedded slate, saddle back coping of slate end on end. Two arch span, semicircular arches, random rubble voussoirs, brief cutwater between an upstream side, none on down streem. Parapet ramped up to centre, pebble path between. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 38). (Photograph in NMR).1

At Winsford the River Exe was until recently crossed by a stone bridge with three pointed arches, which carried the road to Exford. During the construction of the new trunk road the bridge, which was 15 feet wide, was pulled down to make way for one designed to carry heavier traffic. It was difficult to determine the age of the old bridge. Its arches were pointed in shape and quite in the medieval tradition, and one cut-water on each side had a recess for foot passengers. In the parish books for Winsford for the year 1731 there is a reference to "the new bridge over the River Exe" which very possibly referred to this bridge. On the 6 inch ordnance survey map the bridge is shown as Vicarage Bridge, but no name is given to the pack-horse bridge situated only a short distance away. It is doubtful if a cart bridge was necessary before the year 1731 and the bridge which was reported to the Quarter Sessions of 1628 as having been recently "re-edificed" may have been the present pack-horse bridge. At the sessions the bridge was described as the "Viccaridge Bridge lyeing within the parish of Winsford." The reported damage was reported to have been caused "by the violence of the waters" but the total cost of the works was only 5 13s 11d. The pack-horse bridge has two lofty semicircular arches being a total span of about 30 feet. The width between the parapets is 3 feet 6 inches.2

     
References:   1. Exmoor National Park HER MSO8541
2. THe Ancient Bridges of the South of England - Jervoise


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