Bridge Name: Oare Bridge
Location: Oare – SS 8021 4745
Build Date:Possibly C18
Single-span hump-backed stone road bridge over Oare Water. Parapets swept back, splayed semi-circular head arch, rubble voussoirs, hit and miss coping. Possibly C18. Random rubble and local stone. Oare Bridge. Single-span, hump-backed stone bridge; parapets, semi-circular head arch. Ancient Monument. Grade II.
In the literature the bridge is conspicuous by its absence and when mentioned is done so only in passing. Its omission from Jervoise’s The Ancient Bridges of the South of England is significant in that he probably did not consider it to be ‘ancient’ in 1930. Its absence from other, more general, regional guides is probably due to the attention given to the high drama of Lorna Doone’s murder, set in Oare Church, which rather overshadows the limited picturesque qualities of the bridge. The Cartographic evidence suggests the bridge is a mid to late 19th century construction that replaced a ford at the same point. The absence of the bridge in maps before 1887 should not necessarily be taken as evidence for absence. However it is unlikely that it would have been missed off the 1842 Tithe map. It is likely that that the construction of the bridge resulted from the general need to improve communications in the region following the sale of the Royal Forrest in 1820 and the subsequent agricultural improvement.Road bridge over Oare Water. Possibly C18. Random rubble local stone. Single arch span, splayed semi-circular arch, humpbacked, rubble voussoirs, hit and miss coping, parapets swept back. Scheduled Ancient Monument (Somerset County No 229).1
1.Exmoor National Park HER – MSO11973