Duck Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018848

Date first listed: 14-Jul-1924

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Duck Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Danby


National Grid Reference: NZ 71959 07740


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval single span bridges are structures designed to carry a road or track over a river by means of a single arch, typically 3-6m in span. They were constructed throughout the medieval period most commonly using timber. Stone began to be used instead of timber in the 12th century, increasingly replacing the use of timber in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many medieval bridges were repaired, modified or extensively rebuilt in the post medieval period. In the medieval period the construction and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by the church, especially monastic institutions which developed long distance packhorse trade routes, although from the 8th century bridge maintenance came under the `trinodas necessitas' and was the obligation of the landowner. Medieval bridges that still survive are stone and are of three main types based on the profile of the arch which is typically pointed, semi-circular or flattened. A common medieval feature is the presence of stone ashlar ribs underneath the arch. The bridge abutments and revetting of the river banks also formed part of the bridge. Where medieval bridges have been altered in later centuries, these parts often retain original features, sometimes concealed behind later stonework, they also sometimes retain remains of earlier timber bridges. About 16 largely unaltered medieval single span bridges are thought to survive still standing in England. All these are considered to be of national importance. Many fragmentary remains of medieval bridges, especially those built of timber, or bridges that were altered in the post medieval period, particularly those examples with surviving documentary references, are also considered to be of national importance. Duck Bridge, although extensively rebuilt in 1717, is considered to retain important medieval remains, especially within and below the structure of the abutments. It is also a fine example of a humpbacked packhorse bridge of a type that was once much more common in the region, with the high arch designed to protect the bridge from rapidly rising flood waters, a frequent problem with rivers draining the moorlands.


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


The monument includes a post-medieval packhorse bridge over the River Esk, 550m NNE of the ruins of Danby Castle. The bridge is Listed Grade II*.

Previously known as Danby Castle Bridge, Duck Bridge was largely rebuilt in 1717 by George Duck of Danby. Built in coursed herringbone-tooled sandstone, it is steeply humpbacked over a large recessed round arch, with the arch constructed with specially shaped stone blocks known as voussoirs. The bridge's parapets, which are about 2m apart, are capped with rounded coping stones and support modern timber handrails. Central on the north face of the bridge, on the outside of the parapet, there is a carving identified as being the Neville coat of arms. The bridge is supported by added stepped abutments at the north west and south east corners, and beneath the bridge on the western side. At either end of the bridge, there are paired rough stone gate posts and the road surface over the bridge has a skim of tarmac. The modern raised ford to the north and set of stepping stones to the south, which both form boundaries of the monument, lie immediately outside the protected area.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 32619

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of North Riding of Yorkshire, (1923), 334-336

End of official listing