Lion Bridge


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 18626 13830


The Lion Bridge, 160m ENE of Chantry House.

Reasons for Designation

Multi span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the medieval and early post-medieval period for the use of pedestrians and packhorse or vehicular traffic, crossing rivers or streams, often replacing or supplementing earlier fords. During the early medieval period timber was used, but from the 12th century stone (and later brick) bridges became more common, with the piers sometimes supported by a timber raft. Most stone or brick bridges were constructed with pointed arches, although semi-circular and segmental examples are also known. The bridge abutments and revetting of the river banks also form part of the bridge. Where medieval bridges have been altered in later centuries, original features are sometimes concealed behind later stonework, including remains of earlier timber bridges. The roadway was often originally cobbled or gravelled. The building and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by the church and by guilds, although landowners were also required to maintain bridges.

The Lion Bridge is a particular good example of its class and has high architectural merit as an early example of the Gothic Revival Style. The parapets over the abutments are of particular interest in being an unusual copy in stone of timber palisading. The bridge is one of a group of near contemporary structures in and around Alnwick regarded as being of national importance and is an integral part of the landscape.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 May 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a bridge of 18th century date, spanning the River Aln at Alnwick. The bridge is constructed from ashlar masonry and has three semi-circular arches and one smaller land arch with intricate architectural features throughout. There are polygonal lookouts on each side of the bridge with blind arrow slits and hood moulds. The bridge has triangular cutwaters on the west side and rounded cutwaters on the east side and is topped by a crenellated parapet. Standing above the centre arch on the east side is a moulded pedestal with three blind shields upon which is the cast lead statue of the Percy Lion. There is a similar pedestal on the opposite side of the bridge, which is empty, but once held the statue of a unicorn. The sprandels of the arches over the river have circular panels containing blind shields. The Lion Bridge was constructed to replace a previous bridge, which was swept away in the Great Flood of 1771. The bridge was built in 1773 by either John or Robert Adam at the behest of the 1st Duke of Northumberland as part of his improvements to Alnwick Castle and park.

The Lion Bridge is a listed building Grade I and is within the Alnwick Castle Grade I Registered Park and Garden.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ND 112
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 7175


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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