Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Multi-span bridge called Bathford Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Bathford, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.4017 / 51°24'5"N

Longitude: -2.3083 / 2°18'29"W

OS Eastings: 378650.868067

OS Northings: 167004.149157

OS Grid: ST786670

Mapcode National: GBR 0QC.56Y

Mapcode Global: VH96M.Y129

Entry Name: Multi-span bridge called Bathford Bridge

Scheduled Date: 10 January 1952

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004515

English Heritage Legacy ID: BA 157

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: Bathford

Built-Up Area: Bath

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes a multi-span road bridge situated across the By Brook, close to its confluence with the River Avon. The bridge survives as a stone-built structure with two low semi-circular arches which has been subject to restoration and repair including more extensive works in 1989. Above the southern arch on the western side of the bridge is an inscription which reads:
'These are the names of
Sir Thomas Bridges Knight
Sir William Bassett Knight
Alexander Popham Esq
Warricke Banfill Esq
Peter Reynan Esq
Justices of the Peace
Esq Gent
Anthony Carew George Clarke
John ....... Steven Broad.
and Surveyor
and George Grumbold and
John Woodward John Pearce
William Joanes Workmen

Sources: PastScape 203358

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 and beyond 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 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. The Bathford Bridge survives well and is an elegant C17 solution to spanning this section of the By Brook.

Source: Historic England

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