Lanercost – The Old Bridge
Location : Brampton
Grid Ref : NY 554634
The bridge over the River Irthing at Lanercost, close to Lanercost Priory, was constructed around the year 1724 by four local masons. It replaced earlier bridges, both on this site, and also further upstream. These either fell into disrepair, or were washed away by floods. On each side of the bridge carved into the stonework are the words ‘this bridge is not safe for tractors’.
The bridge was relieved of vehicular traffic by the construction of the adjacent bridge in 1962, not on any account of any lack of strength, but because it was so narrow – adequate for the pack horse traffic of its age, but totally unsuited to motorised transport of today.
The two elliptical arches are slightly humped, and a prominent feature is the deep trangular cutwater between the arches. The bridge was extensively refurbished in 1998 by Cumbria County Council, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.
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