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Treverbyn Old Bridge

A Grade II* Listed Building in St. Cleer, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.4793 / 50°28'45"N

Longitude: -4.5294 / 4°31'45"W

OS Eastings: 220638

OS Northings: 67444

OS Grid: SX206674

Mapcode National: GBR NC.M0F0

Mapcode Global: FRA 17DS.H8N

Entry Name: Treverbyn Old Bridge

Listing Date: 21 August 1964

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1159878

English Heritage Legacy ID: 62260

Location: St. Cleer, Cornwall, PL14

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Cleer

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Find accommodation in
Saint Neot

Listing Text

ST NEOT

SX 26 NW

10/122

Treverbyn Old Bridge

21.8.64

II*

Bridge over the River Fowey. 1412-13, when an indulgence was granted by Bishop Stafford; probably incorporating an arch of an earlier bridge. Slatestone and granite rubble, with granite dressings. On the downstream side, two wide four-centred arches with triangular cutwater, with a slate string to the cutwater. Smaller flood arch to left, with a flat granite lintel, the parapet carried over at an angle and inner rounded slatestone arch. On the upstream side, there is an irregular shaped cutwater to the side of the smaller arch; the two larger arches have a cutwater as on the downstream side, the arches rounded, with recessed arch-rings. Parapet walls about 50 centimetres high, with refuges over the main cutwaters; roughly moulded granite coping. The walls are splayed back at the end with the smaller arch. Bridge about 2½ metres across and about 22 metres long.

This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 13 September 2017.

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

Summary

Three-span bridge, dating from the early medieval period and substantially rebuilt in around 1412. Widened in the C18; closed to motor traffic in 1929.

Description

Three-span bridge, dating from the early medieval period and substantially rebuilt in around 1412. Widened in the C18; closed to motor traffic in 1929.

MATERIALS: slatestone and granite rubble, with some granite boulders and slabs. Slate string course. Dressed granite parapet copings.

DESCRIPTION: Treverbyn Bridge spans the River Fowey east-west with three arches, about 22m long and 2.5m wide. It is constructed mainly of slatestone rubble with some granite boulders, with granite slabs at the western arch. At the eastern end are two four-centred arches with recessed arch rings, flanking a central pier with triangular cutwaters, continued into the parapet as refuges. A slate string course marks the parapet base on the downstream side. The earlier western arch has an inner rounded slatestone arch and is flat topped with a granite slab, with the parapet carried over at an angle on a second granite slab. The pier between the eastern and earlier western section of the bridge is wider with unequal cutwaters and no refuges on both up- and downstream sides. This is where the river also divides by the means of an island on the downstream side. The abutments and parapet are largely of local slatestone throughout, with granite in places from earlier re-used material. The parapets are about 50cm high, capped with iron-cramped dressed granite coping slabs. The parapet at the western end splays and curves to the downstream side, a result of widening in the C18.

History

Treverbyn Bridge is a multi-span bridge of three arches, crossing the River Fowey on the road between St Neot, to the west, and St Cleer, to the east. A small cluster of buildings including Treverbyn Mill marks a small farm complex on the west bank of the river. Although now a minor road, this was the main medieval route linking the important market towns of Liskeard and Bodmin.

The western part of the bridge contains pre-C15 fabric, which was referred to in around 1412 as ‘threatening total ruin’. Donations to the Church for the repair of bridges were common in early Christianity and in the medieval period, and ‘Indulgences’ issued by the Church guaranteed penance for sin for a certain number of days in exchange for labour or money to the repair of building of a bridge. In 1412 or 1413, Bishop Stafford, the Bishop of Exeter granted an Indulgence to fund the repair of Treverbyn Bridge, providing a pardon of forty days penance from sin for contributors. These repairs are evident in the fabric of the bridge’s eastern arches.

The carriageway was widened at each end of the bridge in the C18. The road lost its importance in the early C19 when a new turnpike was opened through the Glynn Valley to the south (the modern A38). A new bridge by the County Surveyor EH Collcutt was built adjacent to Treverbyn Bridge in 1929, leaving the medieval structure for pedestrian use only.

Reasons for Listing

Treverbyn Bridge, dating from the pre-medieval period and substantially rebuilt in around 1412, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* an excellent survival of an early medieval bridge which retains the majority of its C15 fabric with little significant alteration;
* the different phases of construction are visible in the well-constructed structure.

Historic interest:

* a good example of a multi-arch bridge spanning a small river which was influenced by the application of an Indulgence from the Church;
* it forms part of a historic route between the historic towns of Bodmin and Liskeard.

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