Ancient Monuments

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Water Houses clapper bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Asby, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4924 / 54°29'32"N

Longitude: -2.4446 / 2°26'40"W

OS Eastings: 371298.896574

OS Northings: 510872.601517

OS Grid: NY712108

Mapcode National: GBR CJCH.KD

Mapcode Global: WH93D.FB4X

Entry Name: Water Houses clapper bridge

Scheduled Date: 21 February 1977

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007258

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 26

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Asby

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Asby St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Water Houses Clapper Bridge.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 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 clapper bridge, which spans Waterhouses Beck, and its associated flagged path. The bridge consists of seven large flags, supported by single upright flags. The spanning flags are 0.5m wide and up to 2m in length and the uprights average 0.75m in width and 1m in height. A flagstone path, which continues north west from the bridge for approximately 17m along the south west side of the beck, also forms part of the monument.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Clapper bridges are structures designed to carry a trackway across a river by means of one, or more, large, flat, stone slabs, either resting directly on the river banks or supported on dry stone piers. Many examples comprise a single slap while multi-span clapper bridges typically have between two and five spans. They were used by foot passengers and packhorse traffic and are frequently located on the course of a packhorse track. Although some clapper bridges are thought to be of prehistoric origin there is no evidence for this. It may be that surviving prehistoric monuments in the immediate vicinity of clapper bridges, such as those on Exmoor and Dartmoor has led to this assumption. It is more likely that clapper bridges were constructed and use from the late medieval period, around 1400 to the 19th century. They are found in areas of the country where the local rock yields large slabs of stone. Clapper bridges are very rare monuments with just over 40 recorded nationally.

Water Houses Clapper Bridge represents a well-preserved example of a rare monument type. The monument provides insight into the importance of bridges and the use of local materials during the later medieval and post-medieval periods.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 14991

Source: Historic England

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