Ancient Monuments

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Lanercost Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Brampton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.9626 / 54°57'45"N

Longitude: -2.6989 / 2°41'56"W

OS Eastings: 355344.352228

OS Northings: 563333.12845

OS Grid: NY553633

Mapcode National: GBR 9CL1.HV

Mapcode Global: WH7ZT.JJ0F

Entry Name: Lanercost Bridge

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007105

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 438

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Brampton

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Lanercostwith Kirkcambeck St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Lanercost Bridge, immediately west of Lanercost New Bridge.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 March 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 bridge of 18th century date, which spans the River Irthing south of Lanercost Abbey. The bridge has two segmental arches, the larger of which spans the River Irthing and the smaller of which spans an adjacent millstream connected to Abbey Mill. The bridge, which is topped by a chamfered parapet, is constructed from red sandstone and has a single central pier with triangular cutwaters with refuges above. A recess at the east end of the bridge contains a piece of masonry adorned by the base of a cross. An inscribed plaque at the east end of the bridge states that the bridge was built in the 2nd year of the reign of King James II, however, this is understood to have been taken from an older demolished bridge located to the east. Lanercost Bridge itself was constructed in 1723-4, but it also understood to stand on the site of an older wooden bridge.

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 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.

Lanercost Bridge immediately west of Lanercost New Bridge is upstanding and is well-preserved. The bridge and the ground beneath it will contain archaeological deposits relating to the construction and use of the bridge as well as any surviving remains of the former wooden bridge that stood on the site. The monument is one of a number of attempts to span the River Irthing at the site and as such provides insight into the importance of transport and river crossings from the medieval through to the post-medieval site.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 12681

Source: Historic England

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