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Bideford Bridge Including Parapet Walls and Gates of East Abutment

A Grade I Listed Building in Bideford, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0164 / 51°0'59"N

Longitude: -4.203 / 4°12'10"W

OS Eastings: 245569

OS Northings: 126427

OS Grid: SS455264

Mapcode National: GBR KJ.JC2K

Mapcode Global: FRA 262F.JD7

Entry Name: Bideford Bridge Including Parapet Walls and Gates of East Abutment

Listing Date: 8 November 1949

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1200873

English Heritage Legacy ID: 375732

Location: Bideford, Torridge, Devon, EX39

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Bideford

Built-Up Area: Bideford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bideford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


842-1/7/19 Bideford Bridge including parapet
08/11/49 walls and gates of E abutment


Bridge across River Torridge. Probably C15, encasing timbers
of a wooden bridge originally built in late C13. Widened to
include footpaths in 1795-1810. Further widened to provide
double carriageway by Thomas Page of London in 1867. Parapets
and cutwaters rebuilt in 1925.
Stone rubble with dressed stone voussoirs. Parapets of
reinforced concrete and rough-faced coursed stone blocks with
copings of dressed stone. Granite piers.
Consists of 24 pointed arches of differing widths, believed to
result from its timber origins. On either side of each one is
a segmental arch added to carry the footpaths of 1795-1810.
Parapets of 1925 project on reinforced concrete cantilevers.
Each parapet carries 6 iron lamp-standards on concrete
pedestals; these closely resemble the originals of 1925,
although their tops are late C20.
The eastern abutment retains the parapet-walls of 1867 with
chamfered copings. On each side is a pair of octagonal granite
gate-piers, the shafts with trefoil-headed panels; pyramidal
caps with coved bases, the east pier on each side with an
ornate iron lampholder on top; each side has original iron
gates decorated with scrollwork. Matching gate pier at west
end of north parapet.
At 678ft the 'Long Bridge' is reckoned to be the longest in
Devon (Barnstaple Bridge is 530ft). Bishop Quinil of Exeter
(1280-91) is said to have granted indulgences to those
contributing to its building. Bishop Stapeldon left it 40s in
his will of 1327. Late C14 and early C15 bishops granted
indulgences towards its rebuilding or repair, but a papal
letter of 1459 describes it as being of wood. Leland
(c1535-43) is the first to describe it as built of stone.
Timbers were found encased in the masonry during the
alterations of 1925; one of them is preserved in Bideford
Public Library. In the Middle Ages there was a chapel at each
end of the bridge: St Anne on the east, Allhallows on the
(Transactions of Devonshire Association: Duncan AG: The Long
Bridge of Bideford (article): 1902-: P.222-264; Whiting FE:
The Long Bridge of Bideford: Bideford: 1945-; Henderson C: Old
Devon Bridges: 1938-: P.92-3, PLATE 42).

Listing NGR: SS4557126430

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

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