River Exe Structures

Hele Bridge

Bridge Name: Hele Bridge
No.: 30 
Location: Helebridge SS 9330 2783
Build Date: 16th century – repaired c1624-1628.

A medieval stone bridge of three arches over the River Exe.

Hele Bridge, Dulverton across the River Exe is 16th century. It has three pointed arches and massive cutwaters on the upstream side. It was repaired c1624-1628. [3]

Hele Bridge is a road bridge over the River Exe. It is medieval in origin, was repaired in 1628 and 1866, and widened on the south side in 1892 by G.B. Fisher for Somerset County Council. It is built of random rubble local stone with rubble voussoirs and hit-and-miss coping to the parapet. The south side has squared, irregularly coursed local stone with blue glazed brick voussoirs and saddleback coping. It has a three arch span; 4-centred arches on the north side flanking pointed cutwaters with rubble tops, circular iron tie above apex of centre arch the earlier parapet seems to have extended to the top of the cutwaters and is visible in the south-west corner. South side, semi-circular headed arches, pointed cutwater between with parapet extended along the line of the cutwaters to form recesses similar to those found on medieval packhorse bridges. The soffits of the arches have been extended in brick on the south side and would appear to indicate two periods of building. This is an interesting example of how a medieval bridge has been adapted to modern needs. [4]


1.Exmoor National Park HER – MSO8843
2. Somerset Roads – The Legacy of the Turnpikes – Western Somerset – J.B.Bentley & B.J.Murless
3. The Ancient Bridges of the South of England – Jervoise

<4> Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comments, F1. Pitcher, G.H. 17/08/1965. SS92NW9 (Unpublished document). SMO5103.