Water Houses clapper bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007258

Date first listed: 21-Feb-1977


Ordnance survey map of Water Houses clapper bridge
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Asby

County: Cumbria

District: Eden (District Authority)

Parish: Soulby

National Grid Reference: NY 71300 10870


Water Houses Clapper Bridge.

Reasons for Designation

Clapper bridges are structures designed to carry a trackway across a river by means of one, or more, large, flat, stone slabs, either resting directly on the river banks or supported on dry stone piers. Many examples comprise a single slap while multi-span clapper bridges typically have between two and five spans. They were used by foot passengers and packhorse traffic and are frequently located on the course of a packhorse track. Although some clapper bridges are thought to be of prehistoric origin there is no evidence for this. It may be that surviving prehistoric monuments in the immediate vicinity of clapper bridges, such as those on Exmoor and Dartmoor has led to this assumption. It is more likely that clapper bridges were constructed and use from the late medieval period, around 1400 to the 19th century. They are found in areas of the country where the local rock yields large slabs of stone. Clapper bridges are very rare monuments with just over 40 recorded nationally.

Water Houses Clapper Bridge represents a well-preserved example of a rare monument type. The monument provides insight into the importance of bridges and the use of local materials during the later medieval and post-medieval periods.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 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 clapper bridge, which spans Waterhouses Beck, and its associated flagged path. The bridge consists of seven large flags, supported by single upright flags. The spanning flags are 0.5m wide and up to 2m in length and the uprights average 0.75m in width and 1m in height. A flagstone path, which continues north west from the bridge for approximately 17m along the south west side of the beck, also forms part of the monument.


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

Legacy System number: CU 26

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:- 14991

End of official listing