Packhorse bridge, Northbeck


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018396

Date first listed: 11-Apr-1939

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Packhorse bridge, Northbeck
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: North Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: Scredington

National Grid Reference: TF 09704 40921


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

The packhorse bridge at Northbeck survives well as a standing structure. It is rare in being one of only a few packhorse bridges remaining in Lincolnshire, and as such it represents a valuable indicator of the economy and social organisation which distinguished the region in a particular historical period. As a result of consolidation in modern times, it now has a role as a public monument and amenity.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a packhorse bridge located at Northbeck in the parish of Scredington. Situated adjacent to the present ford, it is a small two-span bridge constructed of limestone ashlar with a road surface of limestone rubble. It is believed to be medieval in origin and has been altered in the 20th century by the addition of concrete supports. Also included in the scheduling are parts of the adjacent banks which contain further remains of the associated road surface. The bridge is also Listed Grade II.

The North Beck runs from west to east through Scredington. The small stone bridge spans the beck at the hamlet of Northbeck, approximately 0.5km north of the parish church. Aligned on a roughly north-south axis, the bridge is about 8m long and 3m wide and curves slightly westward at its northern end. It is composed of two semicircular arches, each about 3m in width. The sides of the bridge and the arches are constructed of dressed limestone blocks. The water now passes under the arches through prefabricated concrete channels which have been inserted during the 20th century to support both ends of the bridge and the central pier. These supports are included in the scheduling.

The road surface of the bridge takes the form of rough cobbles constructed of pitched limestone rubble. This surface extends over the banks at each end of the bridge and these areas are also included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 22739

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing