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Redford Bridge

A Grade I Listed Building in Town Centre, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.734 / 50°44'2"N

Longitude: -1.7741 / 1°46'26"W

OS Eastings: 416038

OS Northings: 92734

OS Grid: SZ160927

Mapcode National: GBR 55B.VPB

Mapcode Global: FRA 7754.GNT

Entry Name: Redford Bridge

Listing Date: 14 October 1953

Last Amended: 3 July 2015

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1304408

English Heritage Legacy ID: 101454

Location: Christchurch, Dorset, BH23

County: Dorset

District: Christchurch

Civil Parish: Non Civil Parish

District Council Ward: Town Centre

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Christchurch Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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Summary

Road bridge over a mill stream, probably C15 or C16, widened in 1837, and repaired in 1902.

Description

Road bridge over a mill stream, probably C15 or C16, widened in 1837, and repaired in 1902.

DESCRIPTION: a limestone ashlar bridge over a former mill stream. It has two round-headed arches, with a single triangular-shaped cutwater to each side, and parapets above.

History

Multi-span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the medieval period for the use of pedestrians and packhorse or vehicular traffic, crossing rivers or streams, often replacing or supplementing earlier fords. During the early medieval period timber was used, but from the C12 stone (and later brick) bridges became more common, with the piers sometimes supported by a timber raft. Most stone or brick bridges were constructed with pointed arches, although semicircular and segmental examples are also known. A common medieval feature is the presence of stone ashlar ribs underneath the arch. The bridge abutments and revetting of the river banks also form part of the bridge. Where medieval bridges have been altered in later centuries, original features are sometimes concealed behind later stonework, including remains of earlier timber bridges. The roadway was often originally cobbled or gravelled.

As with most medieval bridges, the original date of construction for Redford Bridge (also known as Mews or Millhams Bridge) in Christchurch is not known. It is situated on what was the principal eastern route into the town during the medieval period and was probably constructed in the C15 or C16 at the same time as the adjacent Town Bridge (Grade I). Redford Bridge crosses a former millstream, and a bridge is depicted in this location on Ogilby’s map of 1675 and on Mew’s estate map of c.1715. Works have been carried out on the bridge over the centuries, including widening to its north side in 1837 and repairs in 1902.

Reasons for Listing

Redford Bridge, a multi-span bridge of the C15 or C16 which was widened in 1837, is listed at Grade I for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as an important example of a medieval road bridge that is neatly made, using good-quality materials;
* Historic interest: it illustrates medieval bridge building techniques, while the mid-C19 widening provides evidence for the continuing importance of this route into Christchurch;
* Group value: with a high number of listed buildings including the adjacent Town Bridge (Grade I), Nos. 20 and 22 Castle Street (both Grade II), and the remains of the Augustinian priory and castle (scheduled monument) and the constable’s house (Grade I) to the south.

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