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Eamont Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Penrith, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.6516 / 54°39'5"N

Longitude: -2.742 / 2°44'31"W

OS Eastings: 352220.854145

OS Northings: 528747.529749

OS Grid: NY522287

Mapcode National: GBR 9G9N.5B

Mapcode Global: WH81B.VBGW

Entry Name: Eamont Bridge

Scheduled Date: 5 July 1926

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007193

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 189

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Penrith

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Penrith St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Summary

Eamont Bridge.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 02 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 multi span bridge of later medieval date, spanning the River Eamont south of Penrith where it crosses the old border between Cumberland and Westmorland. The bridge, which spans approximately 36m, is constructed from red sandstone and grey limestone ashlar and rubble with three segmental arches with square soffits, recessed voussoirs and six ribs apiece. The arches are supported on piers with ramped cutwaters on the west side and vertical cutwaters on the east side and the bridge is topped by a parapet with refuges above the cutwaters. Documentary evidence indicates that the bridge was built in 1425 when Thomas Langly, Bishop of Durham made a grant of indulgence to anyone contributing towards its building. The bridge was widened on its east side in 1875 when two additional ribs were added to the existing four rib arches. Eamont Bridge is a listed building at Grade I.

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.

Eamont Bridge is well-preserved with substantial portions of its original structure remaining intact. The monument is a good example of a medieval bridge and provides insight into the importance of transport and river crossings. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:- 12010

Source: Historic England

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