For many centuries Teign Bridge was the lowest bridging point of the river Teign and the gateway to south Devon; its site is ancient. The bridge itself gives the district council its name.
The 17th century two span bridge that the famed artist J W Turner sketched in 1811 when he visited the area, was replaced in 1815. Originally built for horse and carts it still serves as a busy road bridge
The current bridge is a listed structure. Historic England describes it as follows:-
“Road bridge over the river Teign. Built in 1815, overseen by James Green, County Surveyor. Local grey limestone ashlar with rusticated granite voussoirs to the arch rings, granite intrados and granite
cappings to the parapets. A single span with a wide segmental arch with voussoirs with chamfered rustication, set slightly back from abutments which curve out to square terminal piers. Sharply-projecting stringcourse at road level which continues round the terminal piers at the ends of the abutments. No inscription panel. A handsome road bridge with good masonry detail”.
When work, under the instruction of the justices for Devon, began in 1815 to rebuild the bridge the remains of three previous bridges which had spanned the river were discovered, the earliest of which were found to date back to Roman times. Today two of the platforms of the cutwaters of the two span bridge can still be seen below the span of the current bridge when the river level is low and it was this bridge
The first of the three bridges to be discovered was a red sandstone bridge, which dated from the 15th century. The stone is thought to have been brought from Bishopsteignton.
Underneath the first bridge, the remains of a wooden thelbridge, which it is believed was constructed in the 11th century.
However, below both of these bridges; the remains of an earlier bridge constructed of white freestone on timber platforms. It is widely believed that this bridge was of Roman origin and when it was found it was one of few examples of Roman masonry that has been discovered to the west of Exeter.
The course of the road, which runs across the bridge, has been traced from Exeter, the tribal capital of the Dumnonii, but it course southward from Teignbridge is uncertain.
Roman pottery was discovered in Berry Meadow during an archaeological dig in 1985 and the recent discoveries of a Roman marching fort below Penns Mount, a Roman villa at Kingskerswell, a Romano British settlement at Ipplepen and a Romano British limekiln at Whitehill, all point to a thriving population in south Devon in Roman times.
left:- remains of the base of a pier & curwater of 17th century bridge which is visible at times of low river flows.