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Bridge Chambers Including Garden Railings Adjoining the River Front

A Grade II Listed Building in Barnstaple, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0783 / 51°4'42"N

Longitude: -4.0597 / 4°3'34"W

OS Eastings: 255816

OS Northings: 133020

OS Grid: SS558330

Mapcode National: GBR KQ.DCCV

Mapcode Global: FRA 26D8.D8N

Plus Code: 9C3Q3WHR+84

Entry Name: Bridge Chambers Including Garden Railings Adjoining the River Front

Listing Date: 31 August 1988

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1385366

English Heritage Legacy ID: 485828

Location: Barnstaple, North Devon, Devon, EX31

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Barnstaple

Built-Up Area: Barnstaple

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Barnstaple St Peter and St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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684-1/7/243 (South West side)
31/08/88 Bridge Chambers, including garden
railings adjoining the river front


Offices; one end was originally a hall for use as the County
Court, and for meetings and auction sales. 1872-3. By RD
Gould. Yellow brick with details in dressed limestone. Slated
roofs with crested red ridge-tiles, except over the hall which
now has plain ridge-tiles. 4 chimneys on ridge of W range, 3
on E range, one on S range and 2 on N range. Most have
clusters of circular shafts on a base of yellow brick, the
shafts being of a dark brown local stone with a limestone
moulding halfway up and at the top. The 2 southern stacks on
the E range have rebuilt shafts of cream-coloured brick, and
there is a similar stack, probably a much later addition, on
the S roof slope of the N range.
Rectangular plan built round 2 internal courtyards, the latter
divided by a cross range linking the E and W sides of the
building; the former hall (now sub-divided) occupies the first
floor of the N range.
2 storeys. Designed in late medieval style with fronts of good
architectural quality on all 4 sides. The best front (facing W
towards the river) is 15-window range with a gabled cross-wing
at each end. Off-centre to right is a large canted bay window
rising above the general roof line and with a hipped roof.
Off-centre to left is a window set in a shallow projection
with a dormer gable on top.
Windows are mostly plain with moulded stone lintels, but those
in the canted bay have pointed arches and Gothic head tracery.
Windows between canted bay and right cross-wing are of 2
lights with column in centre having a foliated capital.
Projecting window to left is of 3 similar lights, the
2nd-storey window having before it a stone balcony with open,
trefoil-headed panels. Cross-wing to left has in ground storey
2 pairs of windows with pointed arches and decorated iron
grilles. Second storey has 2 large mullioned-and-transomed
windows with pointed arches and Gothic head tracery, some of
it containing coloured glass. Side wall, facing N, has 4
similar windows in upper storey and 4 large segmental-headed
windows in ground storey. On centre of roof ridge is an
octagonal fleche with Gothic windows, gargoyle and a weather
The best feature of the rest of the building is a
single-storeyed structure with a curved front, set into the SE
corner facing the Square. It has a range of 5 pointed arches
springing from square columns with foliated stone capitals,
the feet of the arches decorated with a dragon and other
creatures. Above it, set back, is a square turret with a
steeply-pitched roof. Pointed-arched doorway facing Strand has
a foliated star-panelled grille with BRIDGE CHAMBERS.
INTERIOR: very plain, including the staircases. The exception
is the former hall which has an arch-braced roof with
patterned ceiling, the trusses springing from gigantic carved
stone corbels. Hooded stone chimneypiece in early medieval
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: garden on river frontage has an iron
railing with spearhead standards and uprights. Fixed to the
wall adjoining the bridge is a bronze plaque recording the
widening of the bridge in 1834 by James Green, civil engineer,
using iron from the Neath Abbey Iron Company.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the building was erected as an investment
property for the Barnstaple Bridge Trust, who were generally
concerned to improve the appearance of the town, and in this
case, no doubt, to produce a design sympathetic to the
medieval bridge.
It is believed that the Trust retains Gould's original
drawings. Very prominent in views of Barnstaple from across
the river.
(Cruse JB: The Long Bridge of Barnstaple: 1982-: 15-16).

Listing NGR: SS5581633020

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