Ancient Monuments

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Paddleford Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Rewe, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7883 / 50°47'18"N

Longitude: -3.488 / 3°29'16"W

OS Eastings: 295208.73165

OS Northings: 99807.571536

OS Grid: SX952998

Mapcode National: GBR LJ.ZL5X

Mapcode Global: FRA 37L0.6Z9

Entry Name: Paddleford Bridge

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1928

Last Amended: 28 January 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020935

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33043

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Rewe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Rewe St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes Paddleford Bridge, a stone-built road bridge of the
late 16th or early 17th century which crosses the River Culm about 500m
east of the village of Rewe.
The bridge has two segmental arches, both originally constructed of
volcanic trap ashlar. The eastern arch is the larger of the two with a
span of 6.7m whilst the western arch is smaller with a span of 4.4m. Both
arches are double-chamfered on both the upstream and downstream sides. The
smaller arch has original soffits (the underside build of the arch) of
volcanic ashlar, whilst the larger has rebuilt soffits utilising brick in
addition to the volcanic ashlar; this has produced a skew to the arch.
Pointed cutwaters carried upwards on the exterior provide pedestrian
recesses at road level on both sides of the bridge. The bridge is provided
with a chamfered string-course and a parapet wall of volcanic and local
stone, 1.1m in height and topped by chamfered, flat-topped coping stones.
The parapets angle out at either end of the bridge to act as revetments.
The total length of the bridge is about 18m and it is 5.4m wide inclusive
of a roadway width of about 4.7m; it has a maximum height of about 4m.
The bridge is considered to have been constructed about the year 1700 with
some rebuilding of the eastern arch attributable to a later century.
The bridge is Listed Grade II*.
The modern tarmac surfacing of the carriageway across the bridge is
excluded from the scheduling, although the bridge fabric below this is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval and early post-medieval single span bridges are structures designed
to carry a road or track over a river by means of a single arch, typically 3m-
6m in span. They were constructed throughout the medieval period, most
commonly using timber. Stone began to be used instead of timber in the 12th
century and became increasingly common in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many
medieval bridges were repaired, modified or extensively rebuilt in the post-
medieval period. During the medieval period the construction and maintenance
of bridges was frequently carried out by large estates and the Church,
especially monastic institutions which developed long distance packhorse
routes between their landholdings. Some stone built medieval bridges still
survive. These can be classified into three main types based on the profile of
the arch which is typically pointed, semi-circular or flattened. 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. Bridges were common and important features of medieval
towns and the countryside and allowed easy access along a well developed road
and trackway system. However, only around 16 largely unaltered medieval single
span bridges have so far been recognised to survive in England. All these are
considered to be of national importance. A larger number retain significant
medieval or post-medieval remains, allowing the original form of the bridge to
be determined. These examples are also nationally important.

Paddleford Bridge survives in an excellent state of preservation on a
minor country road which is subject to weight restrictions. As a result it
has not been subjected to any major modern strengthening works. Although
there has been some rebuilding of the eastern arch, Paddleford Bridge
retains original masonry features of very good quality and it will provide
evidence of bridge construction techniques of the period around 1700.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Henderson, C, Jervoise, E , Old Devon Bridges, (1938), 56

Source: Historic England

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