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Grey's Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Stinsford, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7164 / 50°42'58"N

Longitude: -2.4261 / 2°25'33"W

OS Eastings: 370016

OS Northings: 90833

OS Grid: SY700908

Mapcode National: GBR PY.RJXM

Mapcode Global: FRA 57T5.STK

Entry Name: Grey's Bridge

Listing Date: 10 March 1987

Last Amended: 30 June 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1119862

English Heritage Legacy ID: 106333

Location: Stinsford, West Dorset, Dorset, DT1

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

Civil Parish: Stinsford

Built-Up Area: Dorchester (West Dorset)

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Stinsford St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Summary

A mid-C18 bridge spanning the River Frome between the civil parish boundaries of Dorchester and Stinsford.

Description

A road bridge of 1748 date, widened in 1927.

MATERIALS: ashlar stone and reinforced concrete.

DESCRIPTION: the bridge is of three unequal spans, each with a round arch with moulded archivolts. They spring from restored, pointed cutwaters. The central arch is widest (c.12ft). There is a double plat-band above the arches, at road level. The name and date are incised in contemporary lettering in an original tablet set in the parapet wall: GREYS BRIDGE 1748. The plain parapet wall has weathered coping and square returned wing walls over the abutments. The parapets are stepped out each end to form pedestrian refuges. The widened section is built of reinforced concrete and re-faced in the original stonework.

History

Constructed in 1748, the bridge carries London Road over the River Frome to replace Stockham or Stocking Bridge, which stood a few hundred feet to the north. It was built with an endowment from Mrs Lora Pitt (nee Grey) of Kingston Maurward (qv). Two metal plaques were recorded as fixed to the parapets in 1987. One was an example of a ‘Transportation’ plate commonly fixed to bridges in Dorset during the reign of George IV, which threatened transportation for life for anyone found guilty of wilfully damaging the bridge. The other indicated that the bridge was probably repaired in 1835. The bridge was widened on the downstream side by 6ft in 1927. It is named and featured in Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) and The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) by Thomas Hardy.

Reasons for Listing

Grey’s Bridge, Dorset, of mid-C18 date, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a neatly-made structure with well-constructed arches to the spans, and deep, pointed cutwaters with contemporary refuges;
* Cultural: as the location of key events in both Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) and The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) by Thomas Hardy.

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