History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Altarnun Old Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Altarnun, Cornwall

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.6042 / 50°36'15"N

Longitude: -4.5124 / 4°30'44"W

OS Eastings: 222311

OS Northings: 81293

OS Grid: SX223812

Mapcode National: GBR NC.CBRJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 17FG.PWB

Entry Name: Altarnun Old Bridge

Listing Date: 23 November 1988

Last Amended: 18 October 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1138194

English Heritage Legacy ID: 68275

Location: Altarnun, Cornwall, PL15

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Altarnun

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Altarnon with Bolventor

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Find accommodation in

Listing Text

SX 28 SW
4/56 Altarnun Bridge

Footbridge over Penpont Water. Possibly C17. (Henderson suggests late C15). Stone
rubble. Two round roughly dressed stone arches; the massive central pier has
cutwaters on the down and upstream sides. The cutwaters probably originally
continued up to the parapets to form refuges but have since been truncated. The
bridge is very narrow, some seven feet wide and has stone rubble parapets which have
been rebuilt, probably in the C19, and granite coping.
Henderson, C. and Coats, H. Old Cornish Bridges and Streams, 1928 rp 1972.

Listing NGR: SX2231081295

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.


Bridge, possibly late medieval, but perhaps later. Widened in the early C20; original width re-instated and bridge restored in 1970s.


Bridge, possibly late medieval, but perhaps later. Widened in the early C20; original width re-instated and bridge restored in 1970s.

MATERIALS: constructed of slatestone rubble with roughly-dressed stone arches and granite coping to the parapets.

DESCRIPTION: the bridge crosses the Penpont Water within the village of Altarnun. It is constructed of slatestone rubble and granite coping stones to the parapets. It comprises two semi-circular arches and a central pier, which has full-height, pointed cutwaters to both the down and upstream sides. These probably originally continued up to the parapets to form refuges, but have since been truncated and capped with concrete at the level of the parapet base to each side. The south-east abutment projects asymmetrically to each side beneath the parapet, extending along the sloping riverbank on either side. The walls facing the north-western abutment converge at an angle to each face of the bridge and are largely rebuilt on the downstream side, but the rest of this abutment is largely contained within the much steeper riverbank on that side and masked beneath a road. The parapets are also built of slatestone rubble with iron-tied granite coping to the downstream side. They curve outwards at the ends; the downstream parapet at the north-west end extends along the riverbank though much of this section represents a lower and broader rebuild with a capping of slate slabs.


Altarnun Old Bridge spans the Penpont Water, a tributary of the River Inney, and provides access between the area of the village called Penpont to the south-east of the river and the parish Church of St Nonna (Grade I) to the north-west. Although it is a minor route, the road that the bridge spans is of considerable antiquity, as attested by several medieval wayside crosses along its course. The precise date of the bridge is uncertain. The historian, Charles Henderson (see SOURCES) attributes a C15 date, though it may possibly be post medieval, with medieval origins.

In 1928 Henderson described the carriageway of the bridge as having been recently widened slightly on the downstream (east) side to accommodate motor vehicles. As part of this work, iron girders were inserted along this side of the bridge to support the parapet which was realigned. In the 1970s a new road bridge was constructed at a former fording point adjacent to the existing bridge, and Altarnun Old Bridge was restored to its original width and the downstream parapet was rebuilt.

Reasons for Listing

Altarnun Old Bridge is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* It is a good survival of a probable late-medieval bridge which, despite later alteration and subsequent restoration, retains the majority of its early fabric;
* It is a neatly-made structure with well-constructed, semi-circular arches to the spans.

Historic interest:

* It forms part of a historic route and has connected local parishioners with the Church of St Nonna for many centuries.

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.