Road bridge crossing the River Yarrow, late-C17 and widened early- to mid-C18.
Reasons for Designation
Croston Mill bridge of late-C17 origin, widened in the C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a handsome late-C17 and early- to mid-C18 stone bridge which falls well within the period when most bridges warrant serious consideration for listing;
* as a well-designed and sympathetically widened bridge providing evolving early infrastructure in a pre-motorised age.
*` situated on a historic packhorse route and reflecting the evolution of early infrastructure to provide essential communication and transport.
* it benefits from spatial and historic group value with other Grade II-listed bridges at Croston, Eccleston and Charnock Richard.
Croston Mill Bridge crosses the River Yarrow around 0.9 km north-west of Croston Corn Mill and forms part of the historic route along Grape and Syd Brook Lane to Eccleston or Mawdesley. A bridge has been present at this site from at least the mid- to late-C17, following the 1675 Lancashire Quarter Sessions vote to build new bridges, which encouraged bridge building in Lancashire and Cheshire for a ten year period. The bridge provided good communication and transport links to and from the water powered corn mill, which is identified in the 1717 Registers of the Estates of Lancashire Papists. In May 1720 a petition was submitted by Adam Baite and William, Marsden Masons, at the Lancaster Quarter Sessions for the repair and alteration of Croston Mill bridge at a cost of £20 (following several accidents) although it is unknown at present if the repairs took place. In the early- to mid-C18 the bridge was widened, with the C17 east arch, hoodmould and lower spandrel wall retained within the C18 expansion. Its alteration may relate to the development, between 1720 and 1742, of the River Douglas which created a straighter artificial course to Croston and involved several programmes of canalisation to improve transportation networks across the Lancashire Plain. The bridge is shown on Yates map of 1786, and identified as Croston Mill Bridge in the 1801-1802 and 1803 Bridge Lists and the OS 1845 map. In 1903 road bridge repairs were undertaken and this is thought to date the inscription ‘C C Croston Mill Bridge’, running along the inner face of the east parapet coping (following the creation of Lancashire County Council in 1889). Bridge repairs took place in 1925 and an undated Croston Urban District Council (1894 - 1934) plan shows the insertion of a concrete channel and tar-bound macadam road. In 2001 a concrete saddle, sheet piles, and fibreoptic communication lines were inserted, and the parapet wall was raised by one course, with cap stones replaced.
Road bridge, late C17, widened in the C18.
PLAN: a single-span bridge, aligned north-south over the River Yarrow.
DESCRIPTION: the single-span squared sandstone road bridge spans around 11.9m, and is laid out on a north-south axis over the River Yarrow. The east half of the bridge has a late-C17 segmental arch with a projecting hood mould, and one late-C17 stepped buttress set on the north and south bank. An C18 spandrel wall rises from the apex of the arch with three projecting masonry blocks (formerly five, two terminated) to provide additional structural support through the spandrel wall. The C18 west elevation has a simple segmental arch with voussoirs, and a string band set below and along the parapet and wing walls. The barrel arch and abutments have a central straight joint running south to north, which indicates where the bridge was doubled in width. The east half retains three stone corbels set in the abutment below the barrel arch, whilst the west half retains four projecting masonry blocks. The roadway is a concrete saddle and tarmac road with an C18 three coursed humped parapet with wing walls and saddleback coping. The inner east face of the parapet coping stones has the inscription ‘C C Croston Mill Bridge’ centrally inscribed. Three guard stones abut the inner parapet (two on the east side and one on the west).