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Warcop Old Bridge
River Eden, west of Warcop, Cumbria
Warcop Old Bridge
associated engineer
Not known
date  before 1374
era  Medieval  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NY742151
photo  Anna J. Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Warcop Old Bridge is the only remaining medieval bridge over the River Eden. Constructed of red sandstone, it carries a minor road from the south side of Warcop village towards the hamlet of Bleatarn.
Spanning 37m in length, the bridge has three arches, each of which rises 2.4m. It is strengthened by four ribs, the outer ribs being recessed either side of the bridge. On each side of the bridge there are pointed cutwaters made of tooled ashlar, which become three-sided refuges at deck level. The two river piers are more than 3m in width. There are four simple rectangular waterspouts at each side of the bridge to drain surface water.
Most early maintenance of the bridge was made possible by will bequests, such as that by Thomas de Anandale, Rector of Asby in 1374 and by Thomas Sandford in 1380. A later source of funds for bridge repair was the court of Quarter Sessions, which in 1602 assessed the Bottom of Westmorland a rate of 5 pence in the pound for the repair of four bridges, including Warcop.
Repairs are known to have been undertaken by the Quarter Sessions on 14th October 1738, when works to the eastern end of the bridge and to 91m of the causeway at the western end required attention. On 19th May 1897, the ribs of the central arch were reported as decayed to the County Council (by then the highway authority for the County of Westmorland).
With the width of the road being just 3m, it is a tight squeeze for modern cars to negotiate.
Research: PD and AJD
bibliography
"The Ancient Bridges of the North of England" by E. Jervoise
EP Publishing Ltd, Wakefield, 1973
www.british-history.ac.uk
Location

Warcop Old Bridge