River Tone Structures

New Bridge

Bridge Name:   New Bridge
No.:   83
Location:   Newbridge Hay Moor
Build Date:    

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This is the site of the earlier Knapp Bridge.

“Considerable outlay is made on Knapp bridge. This seems to have been the principal point on the river for water carriage, and many entries will be found relating to this bridge. The importance of this can be readily understood from its being the most easily accessible spot on the river before the roads were made.” 2

Between 1678 and 1696 �35 was spent on repairs to the bridge including timber, iron, and raising the bridge ends2

In February 1766, the Conservators contracted John Robins of Langport, ‘within four months to take down the old Knapp Bridge, build over….the River Tone and erect a good and substantial new Bridge across the same river in the place and Head of the said old bridge now to be taken down. The new bridge to consist of one arch of one and twenty foot clear to be built entirely of good Pilsbury stone, except only the ringing which is to be built of Hamhill stone. Parapet walls 2 1/2ft high and 16 inches thick …..for his natural life and at his own proper charges provide and keep the piers and bridge from sinking.’

He was to be paid �45 for the entire work, �15 when the old bridge was taken down and the balance when the new bridge was complete. It is likely that poor Mr.Robins underestimated the cost of the work, for, on the 11 July, William Spiller ‘charged �45 for the supply of of the stone, lime and labour for Knapp Bridge’

This mention of Knapp Bridge is interesting, for there is little doubt that it refers to the bridge that preceded the present one at the point now called New Bridge near North Curry and was probably the reason for the name ‘New Bridge’. Pilsbury stone was specified by the Conservators as the main stone to be used; the quarries were situated between Langport and Long Sutton and being close to the River Yeo, the stone could easily be brought to the site by barge, using the River Parrett.1

The New Bridge sluice was built in 1938 and the old bridge demolished1

References:   1. By Waterway to Taunton -Tony Haskell