Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bellasis Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Stannington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0931 / 55°5'35"N

Longitude: -1.7035 / 1°42'12"W

OS Eastings: 419021.501866

OS Northings: 577664.886185

OS Grid: NZ190776

Mapcode National: GBR J9KK.02

Mapcode Global: WHC33.T70X

Entry Name: Bellasis Bridge

Scheduled Date: 28 October 1930

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006607

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 35

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Stannington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Christ the King

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Bellasis Bridge, 630m south west of Bellasis Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 May 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 multi-span hogback bridge of 16th-17th century date, situated 640m south west of Bellasis Farm, which carries Green Lane over the River Blyth. The bridge has two arches of uneven span with the apex of the bridge being over the wider northern arch. This arch is of segmental form with a span of about 12.65m and has a narrow chamfer on both the recessed voussoirs and the flush arch ring. The southern arch spans about 5.4m and is also segmental, however, the voussoirs and flush ring are squared. Between the two arches there is a triangular cutwater on the western upstream side and a shallow rectangular refuge on the eastern side. The parapet has chamfered edging with those of the southern abutment having wider copings. The approach walls step to ground level at their ends. The difference in character of the two arches suggests different phases and large projecting blocks low on the east side of the southern abutment indicate the potential presence of an earlier structure.

The Bellasis Bridge was constructed in the 16th-17th century with the parapet being rebuilt in the 18th century. Documentary evidence suggests that the bridge may be on the site of an earlier bridge known as the ‘Bridge of Horton’, which was given to the Abbey of Newminster in the early 13th century. Bellasis Bridge is a listed building Grade II.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Multi span bridges are structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were constructed throughout the medieval and early post-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. 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.

Bellasis Bridge is well preserved and a good example of a post-medieval bridge which will retain evidence of its original construction and subsequent maintenance. Overall it will inform our knowledge of post-medieval bridge construction and the crossing of rivers. The structure and ground beneath it will also contain archaeological evidence relating to any earlier bridges which existed on the site.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 23061

Source: Historic England

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