Welcome to the Bridge Trust Website
The Bridge Trust, and its predecessor organisations, has been a part of Barnstaple's history for over 700 years. For much of that time the Trust has been responsible for the long bridge over the river Taw. Repairing, restoring, maintaining and improving one of the most important bridges in the area, a vital
part of Barnstaple's infrastructure since the middle ages.
Although no longer responsible for the long bridge on the Taw, the Bridge Trust continues to play a large part in Barnstaple life, though you may never have heard of us.
The Trust is one of the largest property owners in the town and, although much of the income generated by our Grade II listed historic buildings is applied to their upkeep and repair, nevertheless each year the Trust gives away tens of thousands of pounds to local groups, organisations and individuals.
The slide show above will tell you a little about the properties we own and more information can be obtained from the link to our history page, also above.
Some more pictures from our archives
On the left is the grim figure of John Baker, first Chamberlain of the Bridge Trust; appointed in 1821 he served for 39 years. Next to him is John Byron Cruse, the sixth Chamberlain, appointed in 1945, in the 1980's he wrote "The Long Bridge of Barnstaple & The Long Bridge Trust" from which the history of the trust on this website is taken. Although the buildings in the last picture are long gone there will be something vaguely familiar about them to Barumites even today. The picture shows the Theatre Royal and North Devon Dispensary in Boutport Street, both were built by the Trust in the early 1800's and the Theatre Royal was owned by them until 1930 when it was demolished and replaced by the cinema, which is still there though no longer owned by the Trust.