- Last Updated: Saturday, 30 October 2021 19:56
- Written by GRAHAM BROOKS
CUMBRIAN SINGLE ARCH BRIDGES
Cumbria must have thousands of single arch bridges crossing the numerous streams that populate the county. There is also numerous bridges either carrying railways over roads and streams or roads over railways and the same applies to those along the canals of the county. Each bridge is an indivual built to fit its specific site and to carry its specific load. A lot of the road bridges would be built originally for packhorse and have been widened to allow carts to cross and now carry motor vehicles. Alot are a testomany to their builders that they have suirvived the vast increase in traffic and also the damage caused by flooding that is so common in the county.
EDEN VALLEY AND SOLWAY PLAIN.
DENT, SEDBRUGH and HOWGILLS AREA
NORTH CUMBRIAN BRIDGES.
THE RIVER PETTERIL.
The River Petteril has its source in a number of small streams in the Greystoke area. It flows generally in a northerly direction till it flows into the River Eden in Carlisle. Throughoutits course it is crossed by numerous minor roads.
A small stream Summerland Gill has its origins on the high ground to the west of Greystoke, it flows through the parkland of Greystoke Castle where it has been formed into a number of lakes. After exiting the park it is crossed by the minor road in Greystoke.
As the Gill flows through Greystoke it is crossed by the minor road leading to the church
Corby Beck flows through the lower part of the village and is crossed by the minor road to broadwath (now closed only a bridleway) and an access road to some houses.
Bridge to private housing. Bridge on road to Broadwath.
Geltsdale is on of the most northern valleys in the Pennines. The River Gelt is formed from New Water and Old Water rivers that start high on the Pennines and join together in Geltsdale before flowing out onto the Solway plain near Carlisle and joins with the River Irthing and eventually the River Eden.
In its lower levels it is crossed by the A69 trunk road from Carlisle to Newcastle and also an older road. A number of other minor roads also cross the river before Geltsdale itself is reached.
Upper Geltsdale is now a wilderness area of moors and is part of the RSPB nature reserve. Going back into the 19th Century it was a hive of activity with coal mines and limekilns working in the area. Roads were constructed to allow carrage of coal across the river to the various limeworks and also local villages for sale.
In the early 20th century Carlisle council decided to use the the clear waters of the valley to supply Carlisle because of the amount of polution in both the river Eden and wells within the city. A reservoir was built at Castle Carrock and the water was piped from the Gelt to there. A 3ft gauge railway was built up part of the valley to allow the movement of material and bridges were constructed to allow it to cross the river.
The river is also crossed by the Newcastle to Carlisle railway on the Geltsdale viaduct.
OLD WATER BRIDGE GELTSDALE NY 585 572.
This bridge is on the old coal road from the Tindale and Talkin coalfields to supply coal to the SLOATS LIMEWORKS and onward to the Eden valley and Penrith. It was originally built in1821 when John Wilson was paid 10. 0. 0. to build a bridge over Old Water whilst a road was being built to take coal to the Sloats limekilns.
For more information on the reason behind the building of the road in Geltsdale and the opening of Sloats limeworks see Geltsdale and Croglin Collieries in the Early Nineteenth Century. in British Mining No 108 Memoir 2019 pages 86 - 97.
This bridge is kept well maintained by United Utilities as part pf the Geltsdale water scheme.
Bridge built for the waterworks railway at NY 572 541. Now used for farm access.
A bridge was built here about 1788. A number of different masons were paid £37. 1s. 3d. Robert Madlin was paid 13s. 9d. for leading 17 Bushels of lime worth 8s. 6d. (6d. per Bushel) from Whitrigg lime works.
Robert Hodgson was paid £1. 12s for two half barrels of ale.
CRO dhnc/666 1788 & 1789 account books.
An early postcard showing the bridge viaduct and the Grahams Arms.
Bridge across the tributary stream Hell Beck just before it enters the River Gelt.
Lower Gelt Bridge. Carries the original Carlisle - Brampton road over the Gelt.
The old coal road crosses the How Gill near Gairs house on a double clapper bridge.
The Pow Maughin Beck drains the old raised bog of Wragmire Moss. It appears only as a small stream and eventually enters the River Eden at Scotby Holme.
The first bridge on the Beck where it goes under the minor road at NY 465 908. Date stone reads 1905.
The second bridge where it passes under the main road between Cumwhinton and Cotehill. This also has a date stone for 1905 but is in poor condition.
"This bridge is not safe for traction engines." A similar inscription can be seen at Lanercost
CARLATTEN MILL BRIDGE
Over the Cairn Beck.
Carrys the minor road between Cumdivock and East Curthwaite.
Bridge over Raven Beck at NY 593 426. this bridge has a datestone for the date of rebuilding.
Carries the B6381 over the Cam Beck.
Advert Carlisle Patriot 1st April 1840.
Farm access bridge over Birk Beck at Salterwath at NY 58213 0931.
PORTINSCALE, DERWENT BRIDGE NY 251 240. Carrying the main road B5289 (was the A66 before the Keswick bypass was built) from Keswick towards Cockermouth over the River Derwent. Originally the road went through Portinscale after crossing the Derwent on an two arched original medieval pack horse bridge that had been widened. The original bridge was damaged due to flooding in 1954 and the new road and bridge were then built. The original bridge was replaced with a suspension footbridge.
MILLBECK BRIDGE NY 256 261 Carrying the minor road over Mill Beck. This bridge was damaged in the December 2015 flloods (Storm Desmond) and at the time of photographing (November 2016) it was still not repaired and opened.
The bridge across the beck above Stonethwaite was rebuilt in September 1966. It was originally a pack horse bridge on the route from Seathwaite via the Sty Head Pass to Wasdale and the coast. The original bridge was widened in 1887 to 6ft 4 ins. Total span 15ft.
A photo of the bridge in the early years of the 20th century.
The remains of the original bridge is on the downstream side and acts as a footbridge for the Coast to Coast walk
A small bridge on the old road from Kirkoswald to Alston and the colliery on the fell above Hartside summit over Ricker Gill. (NY 635 422) There is a theory that this route could be originally of Roman origin linking to the 'Maidens Way' roman road near Park Fell. (C&W Transactions 3rd series 2004 pp252 - 257).
Below the bridge after restoration in 2013.
Date stone on the bridge alas badly eroded.
Next to the bridge is a sheepfold restored by Andrew Goldsworthy
BRIDGES ON ENCLOSURE ROADS ON THE NORTH PENNINES.
Culvert over the enclosure road leading towards Thackmoor over Dike Beck at NY 58703 45696.
Carlisle Journal 23rd September 1809 reports flood damage to this bridge.
Small bridge over Gill Beck NY 32237 39548 near Caldbeck.
A farm access bridge over the Dash Beck at NY 25251 32918.
Parish Crag Bridge NY 53524 15919 carrys a minor footpath now over Swindale Beck. Presumably it had been a major trackway at one time connecting Rosgill and Rayside.
Probably the most famous bridge in the Lake District the bridge house. Originally built in 1723 as an apple store on the first floor for the orchards of Ambleside Hall which were where the car park now is.
Bridge carrying minor road over Stockghyll.
Bridge at Abbotholme.
BRIDGES OVER THE RIVER CALDEW AND TRIBUTARIES
Haltcliffe Bridge over the River Caldew.
Original Wooden bridge destroyed in flooding in1771. In 1772 Jospeh Robinson was paid £93.00 to build a new bridge and to maintain it for 7 years. It was the bridge above. A single span segmental arch built from coursed red sandstone with chamfered copings. Span was 19.8m.
This bridge was severly damaged after storm Desmond on 5th December 2015 and colapsed after another storm in January 2016.
The replacement bridge opened December 2017.
Just downstream of Bell bridge the Busta Beck enters the River Caldew and is crossed by the road over Bell Bridge by a seperate bridge
Bridge over Carrock Beck at NY 35610 35401
This bridge was partially damaged in storm Desmond 5th December2015.
Probably dating from the 17th century and altered in 1911. Built with random rubble is a single wide segmental arch with rubble voussoirs. Rebuilt parapets with rounded copings each with a square refuge corbelled out over the river added in 1911.
Note the small square flood relief arches.
A very narrow arched footbridge. Suggestions are that it was built by the quarrymen travelling between Little Langdale and the quarries on the other side of the stream.
New Bridge, Easdale. NY 327 083.
Note the 2 flood arches to the side.
An eighteenth Century print of the bridge.
Bridge carrying a private drive over Greenhead Gill NY 343 086.
Bridge at NY 503 208 carrying the minor road over the beck.
Note mill buildings in background.
Bridge at NY 484 197 carrying farm track between Scales Farm and Keld Head.
Originally there was an island in the river and there was 2 bridges over the river, the northern bridge was stone built and was maintined by the abbey the southern was a wooden bridge. These were replaced by a single bridge s;lightly upstream. This was washed away in late 17th century. Eventually the local justices at the Quarter Sessions listened to the local population and agreed to replace the original bridge, this was in place by 1722 when it required repair. The whole bridge was again replaced in 1725. The cost was £493 2s. and was the work of four north Cumberland masons, Isaac Monkhouse of Castle Sowerby, William Railton of Raughtonhead, Philip Simpson of Sebergham and Jospeh Simpson of Dalston. some of the stone came from earlier bridges. The new bridge survived the devastating floods of November 1771. The northern channel slowly silted up and the monks bridge was no longer needed and the stone was sold by the justices in 1811. The new concreet bridge was built in 1962.
ref. David Mawson the Irthing bridges at Lanercost C&WAAS Transactions NS Vol Lxxix.
The wallon the south side of the bridge has a stone tablet built into it which is difficult to read. 'This bridge is not safe for traction engines' A similar inscription can be found on the bridge parapet at Newby East.
Presumably this carried the Borrow Bridge to Sebergham road over the Lowgill Beck before the turnpike road which crosses the bridge slightly to the west was built.
Nentsberry Bridge carrying the A 689 0ver the River Nent. Date stone 1855..
Report on the bridge from Carlisle Patriot 1st July 1843.
Bridge carrying track to Middlecleugh mine (ny 789 426) over the stream formed from Long Cleugh Burn and Middle Ceugh Burn. Note the wall to deflect the stream through the arch and prevent the foundations washing away.
The tin roofed building in the background was the compressor house for the Nenthead mines. Water from Perrys dam was carried down in a iron pipe (can bes een coming down the hillside on the other side of the burn.)
The same bridge from opposite side.
Bridge carrying the track up the Nent valley (NY 788 426) over the same stream as the bridge above. Again note the original stone work to deflect the water under the bridge. Modern stone work on the other side of bridge.
Bridge carrying the A 689 at Nenthall
Howgill Bridge carrying the A689 over Gilderdale Beck. The beck is the county boundary between Cumbria and Northumberland. Built in 1830. Coursed, squared rubble with flat copings; curved lead-ups have low end piers with chamfered capstones. Single, tall, segmental arch with pilaster buttresses to either side. Panel to centre of each parapet on inner faces has dated inscription.
Bridge over the Lowca Beck. This probably carried the main road in to the Lowca Engineering Works.
Nether Beck Bridge carrying the minor road by the side of Wastwater over Nether Beck NY 162 066
Overbeck Bridge carrying the minor road allong Wasdale over Over Beck NY 167 068.
It carries the Wigton to Workington toll road. see milestone.