The Medieval Exe Bridge

Exeter, United Kingdom

The Medieval Exe Bridge


The Old Exe Bridge is a ruined mediaeval bridge in Exeter in the south west of England. It was built around the year 1200 and originally consisted of 17 or 18 arches spanning the River Exe. Believed to be one of England's oldest surviving mediaeval bridge works, the remnants are a grade II listed building and scheduled monument.

Exeter was founded as Isca Dumnoniorum by the Romans. It became an important administrative centre for the south west of England, but travel to the south and west (to the remainder of Devon and the whole of Cornwall) required crossing the River Exe. There are records of a crossing from Roman times, most likely in the form of a timber bridge. No trace of any Roman bridge survives; it is likely that, once replaced, the bridge deck was simply left to degrade and any masonry supports would have been washed away by floodwaters.

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