Viator's Bridge Milldale. A packhorse bridge of very rough masonry and two segmental arches, now carrying a footpath over the River Dove. (1, 6)
Viator or Wheelbarrow Bridge is mentioned by Isaac Walton in "The Compleat Angler" 1653. (2)
SK 1391 5466. A stone foot or horse bridge 1.2 metres wide between parapets of two arches each six metres wide. It has no dateable features, but almost certainly dates from before 1714. (3)
SK 1391 5466. Foot Bridge. (4)
SK 138 547. Viator's Bridge is recorded in Staffordshire as SMR 4842. (5)
Viator's Bridge is grade II listed and dates from the 17th century or earlier. It is constructed of coursed rubble limestone and has two segmental arches. It was a pack horse bridge and was associated with Isaak Walton and Charles Cotton. (7)
The bridge known as Viator's Bridge is described in the 5th edition of The Compleat Angler from 1676, within which a journey from Ashbourne to Beresford Hall is described by Charles Cotton. The travellers journeyed west from Hanson Grange and they crossed the River Dove. Cotton describes his companion Viator's reaction on seeing the bridge. He exclaimed 'What's here? The sign of a bridge? Do you use to travel with wheelbarrows in this country? … Because this bridge was certainly made for nothing else; why a mouse can hardly go over it: 'tis not two fingers broad'. There is also an illustration of the bridge in the book which shows its stone structure and its two arches but no parapet. In the picture it is accessed by a hollow way [SMR 10618]. It is likely that the modern name for the bridge derives from Charles Cotton's companion in the account. (8)
Bibliographic reference: Jervoise, E. 1932. The Ancient Bridges of Mid and Eastern England. pp 17-18.
Bibliographic reference: Holmes, F A. 1936-1937. Sketch plan 26.
Bibliographic reference: F1 VJB 12-NOV-57.
Bibliographic reference: 1978. DOE (IAM) AMs Eng 3. 98.
Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 57.
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.
Unpublished document: Ullathorne, A (PDNPA). 2004. National Trust South Peak Estate: Area 3, Dovedale South, archaeological survey, 2004. Volume 1: Interpretation and Catalogue of Archaeological Features. p 27, Illus. 29.
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