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crook gill packhorse bridge

September 2017: Crook Gill packhorse bridge

Wednesday 27 September, 2017, by Hannah Kingsbury

There is a single span packhorse bridge that crosses Crook Gill. This bridge lies on an old packhorse route from Bishopdale into Wharfedale. A packhorse bridge is intended to carry horses loaded with side-bags or panniers (a packhorse) across a river or stream. Packhorse routes were the trade routes that formed major transport arteries of Great Britain until the coming of the turnpike roads and canals in the 18th Century. The bridge is situated roughly halfway between the hamlets of Cray and Hubberholme. The bridge crosses Crook Gill just before its confluence with Cray Gill, and 700m downstream joins the River Wharfe.
The packhorse bridge at Crook Gill is a good, unmodified example of the sort built from the late medieval period onwards. The bridge has not had parapets added, unlike many other surviving examples. Parapets would have traditionally interfered with the horse’s panniers/side-bags.
The bridge is constructed of undressed limestone slabs. It is about 1.7m wide and has a span of just over 4m. The approach to the bridge from either side comprises of rough stone cobbled causeways approximately 9m long. The deck of the bridge is also cobbled in rubble limestone.
The packhorse bridge is designated as a scheduled monument.
Historic Environment Record: MYD36266
Parish: Buckden
OS Grid Reference: SD935787
Dale: Upper Wharfedale
Out of Oblivion:
Access: The packhorse bridge is on a public right of way.

Picture of Hannah Kingsbury

Hannah Kingsbury

Hannah is the Cultural Heritage Officer for the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership scheme


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