Lanercost Bridge


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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1007105.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 02-Dec-2020 at 12:54:10.


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

Carlisle (District Authority)
Carlisle (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 55344 63333


Lanercost Bridge, immediately west of Lanercost New Bridge.

Reasons for Designation

Multi span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the 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. Medieval multi span bridges must have been numerous throughout England, but most have been rebuilt or replaced and less than 200 examples are now known to survive. As a rare monument type largely unaltered, surviving examples and examples that retain significant medieval and post- medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance.

Lanercost Bridge immediately west of Lanercost New Bridge is upstanding and is well-preserved. The bridge and the ground beneath it will contain archaeological deposits relating to the construction and use of the bridge as well as any surviving remains of the former wooden bridge that stood on the site. The monument is one of a number of attempts to span the River Irthing at the site and as such provides insight into the importance of transport and river crossings from the medieval through to the post-medieval site.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 March 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 multi span bridge of 18th century date, which spans the River Irthing south of Lanercost Abbey. The bridge has two segmental arches, the larger of which spans the River Irthing and the smaller of which spans an adjacent millstream connected to Abbey Mill. The bridge, which is topped by a chamfered parapet, is constructed from red sandstone and has a single central pier with triangular cutwaters with refuges above. A recess at the east end of the bridge contains a piece of masonry adorned by the base of a cross. An inscribed plaque at the east end of the bridge states that the bridge was built in the 2nd year of the reign of King James II, however, this is understood to have been taken from an older demolished bridge located to the east. Lanercost Bridge itself was constructed in 1723-4, but it also understood to stand on the site of an older wooden bridge.


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

Legacy System number:
CU 438
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 12681


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].