Church Bridge (Bruton)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Crossings related to the A359|
Church Bridge carries the A359 Patwell Street across the River Brue opposite the parish church of St Mary in Bruton. This is the first classified road to cross the river since its source a few miles to the east near the Dorset border.
The construction date for Church Bridge is not entirely clear. In appearance, an early 19th Century date seems likely, but it is known that the structure was widened on the eastern side in 1838, and that it had previously been reported as barely wide enough for a carriage in 1757. It is possible that the structure we see today pre-dates 1757 but was re-modelled when widened in 1838.
The bridge itself consists of 3 stone arches across the river, with two substantial piers between them, each supported by triangular cutwaters. The road deck is very wide today, with two traffic turning lanes for the one-way A359/B3081 multiplex and laybys on either side as well. The one-way system is needed due to the narrowness of the road down the hill to the north.
Just a few yards downstream from Church Bridge, a very narrow Packhorse Bridge spans the Brue. Also known as Bow Bridge, the structure consists of a single set of stones forming the arch, with a narrow footway crossing above between narrow parapets. The structure seen today has been restored after flood damage, but is believed to essentially be over 300 years old.
|Church Bridge (Bruton)|