Ancient Monuments

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Bolter's Bridge, Hornblotton

A Scheduled Monument in West Bradley, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.0986 / 51°5'55"N

Longitude: -2.564 / 2°33'50"W

OS Eastings: 360604.19079

OS Northings: 133410.043718

OS Grid: ST606334

Mapcode National: GBR MS.C06Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 56J6.T3N

Entry Name: Bolter's Bridge, Hornblotton

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1928

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006231

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 43

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: West Bradley

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Multi span bridge called Bolter’s Bridge.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 22 July 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a multi span bridge which crosses the River Alham and the parish boundary between Ditcheat and West Bradley. The bridge survives as a stone built structure with four pointed arches, three cutwaters on the upstream side, a narrow cobbled causeway up to 14.6m long and 2.1m wide and no parapets. It is a packhorse bridge and has been recently restored. It is of medieval origin and believed to have been built by Glastonbury Abbey to connect the moors and make a road between Castle Carey and Glastonbury. It currently links Bolter’s Lane to the Monarch’s Way.

The bridge is Listed Grade II.

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. Medieval multi-span bridges must have been numerous throughout England, but most have been rebuilt or replaced and less than 200 examples are now known to survive. As a rare monument type largely unaltered, surviving examples that retain significant medieval and post- medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance. Despite restoration the multi span bridge called Bolter’s Bridge retains its original form and features and does not carry vehicular traffic.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-200137

Source: Historic England

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