Ancient Monuments

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Multi-span bridge called Polyphant Bridge, 110m north of Polyphant Green

A Scheduled Monument in Lewannick, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6147 / 50°36'52"N

Longitude: -4.4517 / 4°27'6"W

OS Eastings: 226645.961039

OS Northings: 82307.294556

OS Grid: SX266823

Mapcode National: GBR NG.BNC6

Mapcode Global: FRA 17KF.X3H

Entry Name: Multi-span bridge called Polyphant Bridge, 110m north of Polyphant Green

Scheduled Date: 5 November 1954

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004452

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 384

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Lewannick

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Trewen

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a multi-span road bridge which crosses the River Inny at Hicks Mill near Polyphant. The bridge survives as a double arched bridge with a post and rail parapet. The eastern arch is the earliest and has double arch rings, whilst the western arch, rebuilt in 1847, has a round arch ring. The central pier has a cutwater on both sides capped with a triangular slab of granite. The walls on both sides are topped with half-rounded granite coping stones. The parapet is formed by granite posts with steel tube rails. Originally of 17th century construction, the west arch was rebuilt following a flood on 8th July 1847 when all the other bridges on the River Inny (except for Trekelland Bridge) were destroyed. Further restoration was carried out by 'RC and RJ in 1953' with a written inscription in the cement.

The bridge is Listed Grade II (68413).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-436311

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. Despite flood damage and later repairs, the multi-span bridge called Polyphant Bridge survives comparatively well and is a rare survival following the flood on the River Inny in 1847.

Source: Historic England

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