Listed Building record MDR3652 - Rowsley Bridge, Dale Road North, Rowsley

Type and Period (1)

  • (Medieval to 21st Century - 1400 AD? to 2050 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Rowsley Bridge, Dale Road North, Rowsley, originally a 15th century structure. 'Road bridge over the River Derwent, of 15th century date, widened to the west in 1925-6. It is constructed of sandstone ashlar and has four stepped pointed arches to the east with triangular cutwaters between.' (1) From the National Heritage List for England: 'Summary Rowsley Bridge, originating in the C15, widened in the 1920s. Reasons for Designation Rowsley Bridge is listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons: Architectural interest: * although the bridge was widened in the early C20, it continues to illustrate its medieval form, with well-constructed pointed arches and cutwaters on the east; * the bridge retains a substantial proportion of its early fabric; * it is a well-executed structure which illustrates medieval bridge-building techniques, and its continued use and adaptation is an on-going testament to medieval road building in England. Historic interest: * it is a significant example of a medieval bridge which has the potential to provide evidence of engineering techniques of the period. Group value: * forming a picturesque ensemble with several listed buildings to the west. History Rowsley Bridge is purported to be C15 in origin. It crosses the Derwent at the confluence with the Wye, on a major route, now the A6. The bridge, which was initially much narrower, became incapable of coping with the increased size and amount of traffic in the early C20. In the early 1920s a solution was sought and various options considered. Newspaper accounts of the period prove the high public regard of the ancient structure, and the opposition to its demolition and replacement. The local council finally resolved to widen the bridge, extending it on one side and replicating its approximate form. Details Rowsley Bridge, originating in the C15, widened in the 1920s. MATERIALS: constructed from sandstone ashlar with a modern road surface laid on granite setts. PLAN: the bridge spans the river Derwent, and is orientated roughly north to south. DESCRIPTION: a multi-span bridge of five arches. The east side is essentially unaltered; the wide, stepped pointed arches are separated by triangular cutwaters with stepped sloping tops. The straight parapet has triangular coping stones. The west side of the bridge replicates the general form, though has segmental arches and the parapet has flat coping stones. The parapet wall has a stone inscribed ‘ROWSLEY BRIDGE / WIDENED 1925-6 / J W HORTON, M INST CE / COUNTY SURVEYOR / C F TOMLINSON / CONTRACTOR’. Legacy The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system. Legacy System number: 429494 Legacy System: LBS Sources Books and journals Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Derbyshire, (1978), 312 Websites ‘The End of a Long and Winding Road’ in Reflections, January 2005, Vol 14 Issue 156, pp37-39, accessed 28/06/2019 from Rowsley Bridge, Rowsley, ref 12224, Derbyshire Historic Environment Record, accessed 28/06/2019 from Rowsley Bridge, The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery: Derbyshire, accessed 28/06/2019 from Other ‘Rowsley Bridge, Darley Council in Favour of Widening’, Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - 01 March 1924, p8 Letter to the editor from Canon Prior, vicar of Rowsley, on Rowsley Bridge, Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - 16 February 1924, p14.' (2)

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: DOE (HHR) U D of Matlock, Derbyshire, Oct 1972, 22.
  • <2> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England.



Grid reference SK 25671 65893 (point)

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Record last edited

Aug 30 2022 9:50PM

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