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Paythorne Bridge
River Ribble, Paythorne, Lancashire
Paythorne Bridge
associated engineer
Not known
date  original possibly 14th century
era  Medieval  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SD830512
ICE reference number  HEW 1790
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
A Grade II listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Paythorne Bridge carries a minor road and the Pennine Bridleway over the River Ribble south of the village of Paythorne.
The orginal part of the bridge, which forms the Scheduled Ancient Monument, may date from the 14th century. It consists of portions of the two 9.75m masonry spans that cross the main part of the river. The orginal bridge was only 2.75m wide. Its arch spans had three masonry ribs.
The bridge was subsequently widened and lengthened. It was widened by some 4m on the upstream side (the side you can see in the photo). To lengthen it, two extra spans were added to the west (the right hand side of the photo). They measure 10.16m and 8.23m, and are now over water meadows.
As we see it today, the bridge is mostly constructed in sandstone, with limestone used for the parapets, spandrels and parts of piers.
Paythorne Bridge used to be the scene of an annual ritual called 'Salmon Sunday', when, on the Sunday nearest to 17th November each year, people from all over East Lancashire would gather at the bridge to watch the salmon 'come up'.
Research: PHEW / PD
"The Ancient Bridges of the North of England" by E. Jervoise
EP Publishing, 1973
"The Ribble from its Source to the Sea" by F. Riley
John Heywood Ltd, Manchester, 1914

Paythorne Bridge