River Yeo Structures

Load Bridge

Bridge Name:   Load Bridge
No.:   23
Build Date:    

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Load Bridge is probably medieval in origin and was certainly in existence by 1543. In 1676 it was ‘greatly broken and decayed’.1

Although the central arch has evidently been rebuilt the other four arches date from the C15. the central arch was destroyed in the Civil War. Iron railings (1814) replace the stone parapet. The Load Bridge built in 1814 of masonry and widened by cast iron. The cast iron was replaced in 1935. Designer: R. Anstice. Manufacturer: R. Down. Builder: Downs and J Burt and T Tinney. Client: County of Somerset.2

Road bridge over River Yeo. Medieval origin, probably a C18 reshaping, handrail renewed 1985. Local lias stone cut and squared, Ham stone dressings, steel handrail. Five arches, the outer pairs having chamfered pointed arches, the centre arch segmental, also chamfered; marked rise to centre; piers with curved sweeps to abutments; steel balustrading plain, with curved sweep braces fixed to C20 coping, a near-copy of the C19 handrail; diagonal starling cutwaters to piers on each side. Bridge recorded by 1543, but in 1676 was “greatly broken and decayed”, widened 1814 at cost of #452. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 150. (VCH, Vol IV, 1978; Bentley J.B. and Murless B.J, Somerset Roads, Somerset Industrial Archaeological Society, 1985). 3

Uppon complaint made unto this Court by one Joshua Godfrey of Montague freemason that there is muche money due to him for worke about fower Bridges of this County in the westerne division viz. Ivelchester Bridge, Mudford Bridge, Petherton Bridge, and Load Bridge ; And for that Mr. Smith Treasurer of the Bridges in the said westerne division is att present unfurnished with money to pay and dischardge the same ; It is therefore ordered that Mr. Tucker of Shepton Treasurer of the Bridges within the easterne division of this County doe forthwith pay unto the said Mr. Smith Treasurer for the westerne Division as aforesaid the some of fortie pounds which the said Mr. Smith is to yssue out to the said Godfrey towards his satisfaction for the said moneyes due to him.4

Widened in 1814 for �452 John Burt and Thomas Twining contractors5

References:   1. British History Online compid=66495
2. Somerset HER Ref:66495
3. Somerset HER Ref:52581
4. Quarter Session Records Held at Wells 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th January 1649
5. Somerset Roads the Legacy of the Turnpikes – Western Division – J B Bentley & B J Murless