Post-Medieval Sham Bridge, Prior Park

Record ID:  119043*0 / MNA138201
Record type:  Building
Protected Status: Registered Park or Garden, Listed Building: Grade II, World Heritage Site
NT Property:  Prior Park; South West
Civil Parish:  None Recorded
Grid Reference:  ST 7613 6295
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Summary

The Sham Bridge is built from ashlar limestone blocks set back to the east of a round stone edged pond. It is built in a classical style with three arches.

Identification Images (1)

Post-Medieval Sham Bridge, Prior Park © National Trust
Post-Medieval Sham Bridge, Prior Park © National Trust

Monument Types

  • FOLLY (Mid 18th C to Late 19th C - 1740 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL BRIDGE (Mid 18th C to Late 19th C - 1740 AD to 1900 AD)

Description

The Sham bridge is built from ashlar limestone blocks set back approximately 8 metres to the east of a round edged pond. A small catchment pond lies to the east and water enters this from the south-east. There is no obvious source for this water. Water flows into the pond under Sham Bridge and although the flow is steady there is no movement to indicate the point of entry into the pond, however water culverts are extant. The catchment area has an overflow point to the north-east but at the time of the survey no water was overflowing. A fry gully indicated the direction of the overflow but there was no apparent drain for the water. The catchment pond was originally lined with stone paving slabs but at the time of the survey most had been removed or dislodged. The stone work to the rear of the Sham Bridge was not dressed or finished to any degree. The bridge is built in a classical style with three arches, the key stones and voussoirs made from 'vermiculated' limestone. The holes in the stone work appear to be artificial and not the natural Oolitic limestone found in the Grotto and Rockwork Gateway. The central arch has a pediment infilled with the similar vermiculated limestone blocks. The cornice is made from limestone and the pediment is mortared to it.
The two side arches do not have a pediment surviving but it is assumed that they would have originally had them.
The lower course of stonework to the south of the central arch appeared to have been rendered over.
There is an overflow drain to the west of the oval pond which is stone lined and drops down below the exit pipe, providing a silt trap. It is probable that the water flows into stone lined culverts to the north and east.

References

  • SZN7093 - Unpublished document: Land Use Consultants. 1993. Prior Park, Bath. Historic Landscape Survey for The National Trust.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 4253

Associated Events

  • ENA3321 - Field Survey, Land Use Consultants archaeological survey 1993
  • ENA3340 - Archaeological Intervention,
  • ENA5605 - Field Survey, An Archaeological and Historical Landscape Survey of the National Trust Bath Skyline Properties

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded