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Somerset Historic Environment Record

11837

Site Name: Rail bridge over River Parrett, Bridgwater
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Telescopic rail bridge over the River Parrett, 270m south east of Bridgwater Dock Lock [No:33725]
Civil Parish: Bridgwater
Grid Ref: ST 3005 3743 (ST 33 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 11837 - Photo by David Hunt [MVC-810S] (25 May 2002)
  HER 11837 - Photo by David Hunt [MVC-810S] (25 May 2002)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown or has not been checked. Please ask locally and do not visit without permission. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]

Details:

Telescopic rail bridge built in 1871 as part of rail link from the main line to Bridgwater Dock. The line was laid as far as the E bank in 1867 on the line of an earlier tramway of 1845. The bridge was operated by a steam engine which moved an eastern section of the bridge northwards across a traverser pit to leave space for the central bridge section to roll backwards on two sections of rollers, leaving a gap for shipping. The western portion of the bridge was immovable. The bridge was replaced in mild steel in about 1906. Bridge scheduled in 1974. The bridge was converted to use as a footbridge in 1982 with many parts of the telescopic bridge mechanism placed in the filled-in traverser pit. Others were removed to the Great Western Railway Museum at Didcot. {2}

During conversion to a road bridge, members of the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society examined the traverser pit at the eastern end. The rails on which the bridge travelled were measured and photographed together with a selection of iron artefacts from the ballast box of the retracting section. These items included broken castings and miscellaneous wheels which were placed there in 1907 to provide counter weight. {3}

The bridge is in good repair. The area at the eastern end which contained the engine house is now completely obscure beneath recent pavements. {11}

Scheduling revised with new national number (was Somerset 392) on 7/11/2001). {12}

Scheduling affirmed with "Bridgwater" spelt correctly 7/3/2002 {13}

The traversing section of the bridge was broken up and removed in 1974. There are photographs in the Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society collections. {16}

References:

1 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 33 NW 24 (1979) Location: HER files
2 Correspondence - Various to Various. (1970s) Concerning history, conversion and preservation of the bridge. Location: HER files
3 Description - Anon. Bridgwater, telescopic bridge. In Burrow, I and Minnitt, S and Murless, B. Somerset Archaeology 1982. Somerset Archaeology and Natural History127 (1983), 13-31 at 27
4 Measured plan - British Railways Board archive. Parret Bridge - Bridgwater. Historical plans and elevations. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/11 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 21277.
5 Measured plan - Bristish Railways Board archive. Parret Bridge - Bridgwater. Historical detaill drawings. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/12 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 5959.
6 Measured plan - British Railways Board archive. GWR Bridgwater Docks Branch. Drawbridge over the River Parrett, repairs to bottom flanges of main girders. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/13 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 6040.
7 Measured plan - British Railways Board archive. GWR Bridgwater Docks Branch. Drawbridge over the River Parrett, repairs to bottom flanges of main girders. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/14 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 7145.
8 Measured plan - Bristish Railways Board archive. Winding Gear - Parrett Bridge. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/15 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 7146.
9 Measured plan - British Railways Board archive. Bridgwater Dock Line - Telescopic Bridge. (not dated) Drawing HBC 1/8/16 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 7147.
10 Measured plan - Somerset County Council. 1:100, 1:20 plan and sections of existing and proposals. (March 1981) Drawing HBC 1/8/35 (microfilm only). Location: HER collections. HER digital source: 21278.
11 Site visit report - Graham, A [Alan]. English Heritage Field Monument Warden. (4/5/2000) Report location: HER files
12 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (23/11/2001) Location: HER files
13 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (14/3/2002) Location: HER files
14 Mention - Warren, D. Somerset's Industrial Heritage: A Guide and Gazetteer.  (1996), 19. Somerset Industrial Archaeology Society survey no 8.
15 Photographs - Haskell, A [Tony]. (1/2/1973) Location: HER files. HER digital source: 24119.
16 Correspondence - Murless, BJ (Brian), Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society email to Somerset County Council Historic Environment Record (6/7/2011). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained

Record created in December 1982

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