River Brue Structures

Pomparles Bridge

Bridge Name:   Pomparles Bridge
No.:   30
Build Date:   1912
Engineer:   Designed by Edward Stead, when he was Assistant County Surveyor

  © Copyright somersetrivers.org

Reinforced concrete arch bridge. Copings, stringcourses and quoins are of ashlar masonry with the remainder of the masonry rock faced. The end of the concrete deck is exposed in elevation. Carries the A39.

References to the bridge occur as early as the 13th century. Leyland described it as a ” Bridge of stone of 4 arches communely caullid Pontperlus, wher men fable the Arthur cast in his Swerd.” Phelps in his History of Somerset gives an illustration of the bridge which existed before the rebuilding in 1826. From this it appears that the bridge had 2 arches, one semicircular in shape, the other apointed arch, possibly built in the 15th century. During excavations for a new bridge in 1912, the remains of second round arch were found to the South. It was regarded as C12 work. Parapet inscription: S.C.C. (Somerset County Council) “PON PERILIS” built 1912

For a connection with King Arthur see Arthur, Avalon and the Bridge Perilous

The old bridge, the predecessor of the medieval stone bridge, was referred to in documents of 1163, but may have been pre-Conquest in origin. The excavations which located the pre-Conquest causeway north of Street also encountered heavy oak timbers which might be part of the structure of this bridge. However, a 10th century charter appears to refer to a stone bridge carrying this road (Costen, 1992).The bridge is mentioned in 1502 as Street Bridge;3

References:   The Ancient Bridges of the South of England by Jervoise
Somerset HER������ �
Somerset Roads The Legacy of the Turnpikes Phase 2 – Eastern Somerset J B Bentley & B J Murless.
3.Somerset Extensive Urban Survey – Glastonbury Archaeological Assessment