Warcop Old Bridge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007208
Date first listed: 03-Mar-1933
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: NY 74324 15097
Warcop Old 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.
Warcop Old Bridge is well-preserved with many original architectural features. The structure of the bridge, including its footings, will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use. The monument is one of the earliest surviving bridges spanning the River Eden and it provides insight into the importance of transport networks and river crossings during the late medieval-early post-medieval period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 01 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 the remains of a multi span bridge of 16th century date, spanning the River Eden south west of Eden Gate. The bridge is constructed from coursed, squared rubble blocks and has three segmental arches standing on piers with triangular cutwaters. Each of the arches has four massive square ribs and the bridge is topped by a parapet with semi-hexagonal refuges supported by the cutwaters below. Warcop Old Bridge is a listed building at Grade II*.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: CU 179
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 14918
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