Ancient Monuments

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Packhorse bridge at the Post Office

A Scheduled Monument in Stainton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.2666 / 54°15'59"N

Longitude: -2.7327 / 2°43'57"W

OS Eastings: 352373.726195

OS Northings: 485903.622573

OS Grid: SD523859

Mapcode National: GBR 9MC3.59

Mapcode Global: WH838.Z1W0

Entry Name: Packhorse bridge at the Post Office

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1964

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007138

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 384

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Stainton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Crosscrake St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Packhorse Bridge, immediately south of Dreamland Farm.

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 the remains of a packhorse bridge of 17th century date, which spans Stainton Beck at Stainton. The bridge, which has a single segmental arch, is built from coursed limestone rubble with a coping of rough limestone blocks and is topped by a 1m high parapet. The internal width of the bridge is 0.9m with the whole bridge being 1.5m wide. The monument is a listed building Grade II.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval and early post-medieval single span bridges are structures designed to carry a road or track over a river by means of a single arch, typically 3m- 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 and became increasingly common in the 14th and 15th centuries. Many medieval bridges were repaired, modified or extensively rebuilt in the post- medieval period. During the medieval period the construction and maintenance of bridges was frequently carried out by large estates and the Church, especially monastic institutions which developed long distance packhorse routes between their landholdings. Some stone built medieval bridges still survive. These can be classified into 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 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. Bridges were common and important features of medieval towns and the countryside and allowed easy access along a well developed road and trackway system. However, only around 16 largely unaltered medieval single span bridges have so far been recognised to survive in England. All these are considered to be of national importance. A larger number retain significant medieval or post-medieval remains, allowing the original form of the bridge to be determined. These examples are also nationally important.

The Packhorse Bridge immediately south of Dreamland Farm is upstanding and is well-preserved. The bridge provides insight into the importance of local river crossings during the earlier post-medieval period. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use within its upstanding structure and also within its buried foundations and cuttings.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 43103

Source: Historic England

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