Cattal Bridge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021018

Date first listed: 11-Jun-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jul-2003


Ordnance survey map of Cattal Bridge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 18:26:33.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Harrogate (District Authority)

Parish: Cattal

National Grid Reference: SE 44778 53997


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 semicircular 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.

Cattal Bridge is a good example of an 18th century bridge. It is considered to be of archaeological importance because it has not been widened or strengthened and will thus retain original constructional details that have frequently been lost from other bridges.


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


The monument includes a bridge of three arches across the River Nidd. The bridge carries a minor road, the C282 and is known to the County Council as Bridge number 1727, Cattal. The bridge is Listed Grade II.

The village of Cattal lies on the north bank of the River Nidd where Rudgate Roman Road crosses the river. It is not known if the Roman crossing was via a bridge, but there was a timber bridge at Cattal by the mid-16th century as it was noted by the antiquarian John Leyland. The current bridge, which forms the monument, lies some 150m upstream from the line of the Roman Road and was built in the 18th century. Apart from repairs following vehicle impacts, mainly to the parapets, it is effectively unaltered and has not been strengthened. In the 1990s it was assessed to be able to carry 33 tonnes and was given a signed gross axle weight limit of 5 tonnes.

The bridge is built in limestone ashlar and has three segmental arches with double arch rings that are chamfered and built in two orders. The central arch has a span of just over 15m and the side arches nearly 11m. The piers have triangular cutwaters that are extended up to the carriageway to provide pedestrian refuges, this being very necessary as the deck is less than 4m wide between the parapets. The two refuges on the eastern side of the bridge are further protected by bump stones.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling: these are; all modern sign posts; the tarmac road surface; and the telephone services that cross the bridge. The ground beneath all these features is, however, included.

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: 34721

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Jervoise, E, Ancient Bridges of Northern England, (1931)

End of official listing