Ancient Monuments

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Ide Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Alphington, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7061 / 50°42'21"N

Longitude: -3.5564 / 3°33'23"W

OS Eastings: 290194.729243

OS Northings: 90761.784679

OS Grid: SX901907

Mapcode National: GBR P0.550H

Mapcode Global: FRA 37F6.Q9T

Entry Name: Ide Bridge

Scheduled Date: 26 October 1954

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020701

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34443

County: Devon

Electoral Ward/Division: Alphington

Built-Up Area: Exeter

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Alphington St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a three arched stone road bridge spanning the Alphin
Brook north of the village of Ide. A bridge certainly existed at this point
in the first half of the 13th century, but the earliest parts of the present
structure are considered to be no earlier than 17th century in date. The
bridge is formed by three segmental arches together with cutwaters on both
sides. On the downstream side the bridge has been widened by round arches
springing from the cutwaters. An inscribed stone built into the western
parapet reads: `This bridge was erected by Richard Brewer of ...? 1692'.
Vehicular access to the bridge is prevented by bollards at the northern end
and it is now used only by pedestrians crossing the nearby A30 to and from Ide
The modern road surface and the bollards at the northern end are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 and examples that retain significant medieval and post-
medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance.

Ide Bridge survives very well and is no longer used by vehicular traffic.
Architectural and archaeological information concerning the construction and
development of this bridge survives within its fabric.

Source: Historic England


Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX99SW15, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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