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Whalley Bridge
River Calder, Whalley, Lancashire, UK
Whalley Bridge
associated engineer
Not known
date  original possibly 14th century
UK era  Medieval  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SD732359
ICE reference number  HEW 1791
photo  ICE R&D Fund
At the heart of this Grade II listed Scheduled Ancient Monument is a rather old bridge, possibly dating from the 14th century and reputedly built by the Abbot of Whalley Abbey. It has been widened three times since.
The original bridge was only 3m wide. It had two semi-circular arches, each with three ribs. Repairs to the stonework were carried out in 1682.
At unknown dates, the bridge was widened twice on the downstream side. The third widening was carried out by Lancashire County Council in 1914, this time on the upstream side. The original bridge is possibly in there somewhere, though we now have three arches.
The bridge that can be seen today looks similar from either direction, with three segmental circular spans, rounded cutwaters and rounded pilasters carried up to roadway level, where they become half round recesses for pedestrian use. The entire structure is made of stone. The piers, voussoirs (wedge-shaped stones around the arches) and pilasters are constructed in larger stones with a rusticated finish. The roadway is now 7.9m wide, with a 1.5m footpath either side.
Whalley Bridge has an overall length of 35.5m. Its spans measure 9.45m, 9.14m and 10m. It crosses the River Calder on the southern side of the town.
Contractor: Varleys (Whalley) (1914 widening)
Research: PHEW / PD
"The Ancient Bridges of the North of England" by E. Jervoise, EP Publishing Ltd, 1973

Whalley Bridge