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Rowsley Bridge

A Grade II* Listed Building in Rowsley, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1895 / 53°11'22"N

Longitude: -1.6172 / 1°37'2"W

OS Eastings: 425671

OS Northings: 365893

OS Grid: SK256658

Mapcode National: GBR 587.5XR

Mapcode Global: WHCDG.4345

Plus Code: 9C5W59QM+R4

Entry Name: Rowsley Bridge

Listing Date: 22 June 1950

Last Amended: 3 February 2020

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1263843

English Heritage Legacy ID: 429494

Location: Rowsley, Derbyshire Dales, Derbyshire, DE4

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales

Civil Parish: Rowsley

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Rowsley St Katherine

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Tagged with: Road bridge

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Great Rowsley


Rowsley Bridge, originating in the C15, widened in the 1920s.


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’.


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.

Reasons for Listing

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.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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