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Wakefield Bridge & Chantry Chapel
River Calder, Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Wakefield Bridge & Chantry Chapel
associated engineer
date  after 1342
UK era  Medieval  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SE337201
ICE reference number  HEW 438
photo  Mark Whitby
The old part of this stone bridge is believed to have been built in the middle of the 14th century. It has twice been widened, notably in 1797-98. The newer arches are rounded in shape and the originals are pointed.
The bridge is now some 320ft long and 32ft wide. Its arches span 28ft. As it is unsuitable for modern traffic, a new bridge was built in 1929-30, almost alongside. Wakefield New Bridge was designed by Owen Williams.
At one end of the old bridge is the Chantry Chapel of St Mary (1342-50), built into the stonework of the bridge. The chapel is only 9ft wide at river level and corbelling is used to increase the width to 25ft at street level. Bridges were popular sites for medieval chapels as travellers used them to pray for safe journeys. There were four at Wakefield.
The chapel as seen today is an 1848 reconstruction of the original.
reference sources   BBlocal research

Wakefield Bridge & Chantry Chapel