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Cornford Bridge

A Grade II* Listed Building in Holwell, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.907 / 50°54'25"N

Longitude: -2.44 / 2°26'23"W

OS Eastings: 369161

OS Northings: 112044

OS Grid: ST691120

Mapcode National: GBR MY.R1NN

Mapcode Global: FRA 56SP.THG

Entry Name: Cornford Bridge

Listing Date: 11 July 1951

Last Amended: 30 June 2015

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1324112

English Heritage Legacy ID: 104743

Location: Bishop's Caundle, West Dorset, Dorset, DT9

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

Civil Parish: Holwell

Civil Parish/community: Bishop's Caundle

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Caundle

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Summary

Road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21.

Description

Road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21.

MATERIALS: of coursed limestone rubble with ashlar dressings.

DESCRIPTION: the bridge is aligned north-west to south-east and carries a road of c3m in width across the Caundle Brook. It consists of three spans of pointed arches of which those on the south-west (upstream) side have a double order of voussoirs. Only one arch on the north-east (downstream) side has this treatment. Between the arches are rubble piers. On the south-west side these have triangular-shaped cutwaters with ashlar facing which extend upwards to create pedestrian refuges. Vertical slits incised into the cutwaters appear to be an embellishment rather than having a practical use. On the north-east side the south pier has a coursed rubble cutwater but no refuge above. Its north pier retains a medieval weathered buttress of three stages. A moulded string course runs across both faces of the bridge. The parapets are mainly capped with bevelled coping stones. A small section of parapet wall on the north-east side was rebuilt in the early C21 following a vehicle strike.


History

Cornford Bridge, named after the field name closest to it, was built to carry the road from Bishop’s Caundle to Holwell over the Caundle Brook. It has been dated to around 1480, although it was extensively repaired in the C18. In 1994 the bridge was subjected to a major repair, strengthening and cleaning project. Further repairs were carried out in the early C21 after the parapet was damage by a vehicle strike.

Reasons for Listing

Cornford Bridge, a multi-span road bridge of c1480 with repairs and restorations of the C18, 1994 and early C21, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: it is a significant example of a medieval multi-span bridge of which less than 200 examples are now known to survive in England;
* Architectural interest: for such a small bridge its design shows considerable attention to detail with its various components showing a strong ecclesiastical influence;
* Survival: although it was been repaired since it was built, its medieval characteristics are still evident along its length and in its vertical dimension, illustrating medieval bridge building techniques;
* Historic interest: it is an ongoing testament to medieval road building in England.

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