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Footbridge over the River Divelish

A Grade II* Listed Building in Fifehead Neville, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8993 / 50°53'57"N

Longitude: -2.3257 / 2°19'32"W

OS Eastings: 377188

OS Northings: 111144

OS Grid: ST771111

Mapcode National: GBR 0XC.DV2

Mapcode Global: FRA 660Q.PR5

Plus Code: 9C2VVMXF+PP

Entry Name: Footbridge over the River Divelish

Listing Date: 4 October 1960

Last Amended: 3 July 2015

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1110485

English Heritage Legacy ID: 102502

Location: Fifehead Neville, Dorset, DT10

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Fifehead Neville

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Fifehead Neville All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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A packhorse bridge, probably medieval in date, with some later restoration.


A packhorse bridge, probably medieval in date, with some later restoration.

The bridge is constructed from coursed rubble stone, with timber railings.

The bridge, which is six feet (circa 2m) wide and spans 34 feet (circa 10m), is of two spans. It has two pointed, almost straight-sided arches and a central pier, which has a full-height, pointed cutwater on the upstream side; there is no cutwater on the downstream side. It has a kerb of rubble stones set on edge. The C20 timber railings have a single top-rail set diamond-wise, and cantilevered out from the structure of the bridge.


The footbridge bridge at Fifehead Neville probably dates from the medieval period. It was constructed as a packhorse bridge, without a parapet, to avoid animals’ side packs hitting as they crossed the bridge. Some restoration has taken place over its long life. A timber handrail was added in the C20.

Reasons for Listing

The medieval packhorse bridge at Fifehead Neville is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Relative date: the bridge is a good survival of a medieval bridge, which, despite later repair, retains the majority of its early fabric;
* Architectural interest: it is a neatly-made structure with very well constructed, pointed arches to the spans;
* Historic interest: its form, without parapets, illustrates clearly how the bridge allowed laden pack animals to cross, before transport of goods by cart became the norm.

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