Kirkhaugh Bridge abutments 1/2 mile (800m) NE of Whitley Castle


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)
Knaresdale with Kirkhaugh
National Grid Reference:
NY 69942 49274


Kirkhaugh Roman bridge abutments, 730m north east of Whitley Castle.

Reasons for Designation

A bridge is a timber or masonry structure designed to carry a road or path over a waterway. There are a number of ways of identifying the sites of former Roman bridges. These include place-name analysis and tracing Roman road alignments in conjunction with aerial photography and field survey. A bridge is made up of a pair of abutments, a series of piers and the road bearing superstructure. Bridges were an integral part of the Roman communications network. They carried defensive works and roads over waterways which were either unfordable or needed to be crossed at a particular point for military reasons. There is no evidence of the existence of bridges in England prior to the Roman invasion. The majority of Roman bridges were mainly constructed between the latter half of the 1st century AD and AD250 although they continued to be used long after the 3rd century AD.

Roman bridges are very rare nationally with fewer than 25 recorded examples remaining. The footings of the south west bridge abutment of the Kirkhaugh Roman bridge is preserved. The bridge is an integral part of an important Roman landscape. The bridge carried a Roman road from Corbridge to Whitley Castle Roman fort and vicus, which lies 730m to the south west. The route of the Maiden Way Roman road runs NNW-SSE close to the east of the bridge abutment.

The Kirkhaugh Roman bridge abutments north east of Whitley Castle and the ground beneath it will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use, including important dating evidence. The monument provides insight into the Roman occupation of Britain and the need to create and control major route ways.


See Details.


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 the remains of the abutment of a bridge of Roman date, situated on the south west bank of the River South Tyne. The abutment is built of large roughly dressed stones with a rubble core and hammer-dressed quoins. The remains of the abutment stand to a height of up to five courses and measure approximately 5.9m at its widest point.

Since the bridge was built the River South Tyne has altered its course north eastwards, which has destroyed the north east abutment of the bridge and left the south west abutment on dry ground approximately 24m from the river’s present course. The abutment of the bridge is on the line of the Roman road which is thought to have stretched between Whitley Castle Roman fort and Corbridge. A slight, low linear earthwork links the location of the bridge to Whitley Castle.


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

Legacy System number:
ND 127
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 13735


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