Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006574
Date first listed: 28-Nov-1932
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 98889 64149
Corbridge Bridge, 245m SSE of Vicar’s Pele.
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. A common medieval feature is the presence of stone ashlar ribs underneath the arch. 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. From the mid-13th century the right to collect tolls, known as pontage, was granted to many bridges, usually for repairs; for this purpose many urban bridges had houses or chapels on them, and some were fortified with a defensive gateway.
Corbridge Bridge is the oldest bridge on the River Tyne. Despite later amendments the bridge is substantially preserved and the remains of the previous wooden medieval bridge lie within and beneath its structure. The bridge is of considerable importance within the long history of attempts to span the River Tyne. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and amendment of the bridge as well as the remains of the previous medieval bridge.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 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 17th century date, spanning the River Tyne at Corbridge and the remains of an earlier bridge contained within it. The bridge is constructed from coursed and squared sandstone and has a total span of 146m. It has seven segmental arches and triangular cutwaters with chamfered set-backs. The arches have recessed voussoirs and flush arch-rings. The bridge has three-sided refuges and is topped by a parapet with a sloped coping carried on two-stepped corbels. On the east side is a block bearing an incised sundial, which has been replaced. The masonry carries numerous mason’s marks.
There is a long history of bridging the River Tyne at Corbridge. Permission was granted to Simon de Divelston in 1235 to build a bridge. The first record of the bridge being in existence is in 1256. By the 14th-15th centuries the bridge was in bad repair and in 1674 the bridge was replaced by the current structure. Corbridge Bridge was the only bridge on the Tyne to survive the flood of 1771. The southern arch of the bridge was rebuilt in 1829 and the bridge was widened in 1881. Reports from 1888 indicate that the remains of the previous medieval bridge survive on the line of the current bridge including remains partially within or below the northern abutment of the current bridge. These remains include oak tie-beams used to brace the pier foundations. The bridge has had some minor amendments in the 20th century. Corbridge Bridge is a listed building Grade I.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 123
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 239874
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