Ancient Monuments

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Multi-span bridge called Trerithick Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Altarnun, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6107 / 50°36'38"N

Longitude: -4.4837 / 4°29'1"W

OS Eastings: 224367.205633

OS Northings: 81945.769483

OS Grid: SX243819

Mapcode National: GBR NF.BS4F

Mapcode Global: FRA 17HG.91F

Entry Name: Multi-span bridge called Trerithick Bridge

Scheduled Date: 4 November 1954

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004486

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 378

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro


This monument includes a multi span-road bridge which crosses the Penpont water on the old coaching route between Launceston and Bodmin. The bridge survives as three round arches. The central arch is larger than the other two, with cutwaters between the arches which are truncated below the splayed parapets. The bridge, probably of medieval origin, was rebuilt in about 1830.

The bridge is Listed Grade II (68259).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-436436

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 having been rebuilt in the 19th century, the multi-span bridge called Trerithick Bridge is thought to have had medieval origins which may be preserved within its structure.

Source: Historic England

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