During the summer and autumn of 2003 Minerva Stone Conservation carried out repairs to a medieval packhorse bridge near the stunning tithe barn at Bradford on Avon.
This bridge had been repaired in a piecemeal fashion over the years and flood action had reduced it into a picturesque but potentially ruinous state. Extensive repairs to the bridge including structural stonemasonry repair to the barrel vaulted arches were required. This work can only be carried out in the more clement weather since the river Avon floods almost annually to dramatic proportions and can occasionally submerge the bridge entirely.
The bridge is a scheduled ancient monument and dates from the 14th century with the cutwaters were added in the 15th century. It is of particular importance because it has neither become part of a metalled road nor been extensively altered beyond its original 'as built' condition. Historically the bridge was part of a complex of buildings belonging to the Abbess of Shaftesbury and formed part of a direct route between the rich cereal-growing Cotswold scarp and the stone tithe barn where the harvest was collected. Taking this direct route avoided a toll on the main town bridge.
For further details and pictures of this very special project please click here.