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Narrow stone bridge over water. In the background are houses and trees.
The packhorse bridge
Allerford is located in Somerset
 Allerford shown within Somerset
OS grid reference SS905475
Civil parish Selworthy
District West Somerset
Shire county Somerset
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MINEHEAD
Postcode district TA24
Dialling code 01643
Police Avon and Somerset
Fire Devon and Somerset
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Bridgwater and West Somerset
List of places

Coordinates: 51°12′58″N 3°34′09″W / 51.2161°N 3.5691°W / 51.2161; -3.5691

Allerford is a village in the county of Somerset, England, located within Exmoor National Park, and is part of the parish of Selworthy in the district of West Somerset. It appears in Domesday Book as “Alresford – forda Ralph de Limesy Mill”.

The parish was part of the hundred of Carhampton.[1]

One of the village's main attractions is the much-photographed packhorse bridge. Built as a crossing over the River Aller (from which the village gets its name), it is thought to be medieval in origin.[2] Nearby is the New Bridge where the A39 road crosses Horner Water. The 18 feet (5.5 m) wide pointed arch rises 8 feet (2.4 m) with a 4 feet (1.2 m) span half arch on the side for flood relief. Originally the bridge was 12 feet (3.7 m) wide but another 6 feet (1.8 m) was added in 1866.[3] The packhorse bridge is an Ancient monument and has been added to the Heritage at Risk register.[4][5]

Allerford New Bridge which carries the A39 road past the village is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade II* listed building.[6] It is also on the Heritage at Risk register because of the risks of vehicle damage and erosion.[7]

The village is also home to Allerford House, childhood home of Admiral John Moresby, who explored the coastline of New Guinea and for whom Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea, was named. Other traditional sights in the village include thatched cottages, a forge and an old-fashioned red telephone box. There is also a Reading Room, built by the Acland family to foster adult education.

One of the thatched cottages operated as the local Primary School between 1821 and 1981 and is now a museum containing the West Somerset Rural Life Museum and Victorian School. The museum houses the West Somerset Photographic Archive.


  1. ^ "Carhampton Hundred". Domesday Map. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Packhorse Bridge". Images of England. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  3. ^ Otter, R.A. (1994). Civil Engineering Heritage: Southern England. London: Thomas Telford Ltd. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7277-1971-3. 
  4. ^ >"Allerford packhorse bridge, immediately north of Cross Lane Farm, Selworthy, West Somerset - Exmoor (NP)". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. Retrieved 20 October 2013. </
  5. ^ Historic England. "Allerford packhorse bridge, immediately north of Cross Lane Farm (1020776)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Historic England. "Allerford new bridge (1006197)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Allerford New Bridge, Luccombe / Selworthy, West Somerset - Exmoor (NP)". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 

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