History in Structure

Drive bridge over Coundon Burn at NZ 2285 3056

A Grade II Listed Building in Coundon, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6696 / 54°40'10"N

Longitude: -1.6472 / 1°38'49"W

OS Eastings: 422851

OS Northings: 530559

OS Grid: NZ228305

Mapcode National: GBR JGYF.5V

Mapcode Global: WHC52.NWTL

Plus Code: 9C6WM993+R4

Entry Name: Drive bridge over Coundon Burn at NZ 2285 3056

Listing Date: 23 May 1994

Last Amended: 2 June 2021

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1297609

English Heritage Legacy ID: 385611

ID on this website: 101297609

Location: New Coundon, County Durham, DL14

County: County Durham

Electoral Ward/Division: Coundon

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Bishop Auckland

Church of England Diocese: Durham

Tagged with: Footbridge

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Drive bridge, 1827.


Drive bridge, 1827.

MATERIALS: ashlar and dressed stone.

DESCRIPTION: this bridge carried a drive or bridleway over the Coundon Burn. The structure comprises a simple, elliptical barrel vault some 6.8m long by 2.13m wide, capped by earth and gravel. There are no headwalls or parapets. The eastern (upstream) elevation comprises a single arch ring of fine ashlar voussoirs with the keystone inscribed WD | 1827 (William Dunelm ie William of Durham, otherwise Willam Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham between 1826 and 1836). The arch ring of the western elevation and the vault that connects the elevations is formed of less well-dressed stone. A training wall continues the line of the north abutment a short distance downstream and the stream bed is paved.


Auckland Castle Park originated as a deer park for the Prince Bishops of Durham, probably in the C11 or C12, associated with their residence at Auckland Castle. The park had a herd of wild cattle until the C17 and there are records of successive restocking with deer. The park fell into decline during the Interregnum at which time the trees were cut down, but it was restocked, and the fishponds renewed by Bishop Cosin during the period 1660 to 1671. In 1750 Bishop Butler extended the park to take in areas of woodland and began renewing the pale and planting, operations which were interrupted by his death in 1752. He was succeeded by Bishop Trevor, who continued with the improvements, spending more than £8,000 on the Castle and park during the period 1752 to 1771. Ewan Christian undertook a refurbishment of Castle and park during the 1880s for Bishop Lightfoot.

This bridge was constructed in 1827 by William Dunelm or William of Durham, otherwise William Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham from 1826 to 1836. Traces of splayed stone kerbing in the ground on the northern approach, together with the length of the vault suggest that the structure was built to carry a carriage drive, or at the very least a bridleway. It is first depicted on the Ordnance Survey map surveyed in 1857 (published 1861) when it formed part of a network of paths or rides running around the inside of the park’s eastern perimeter.

Reasons for Listing

This bridge, of 1827, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a largely intact elliptical barrel-vaulted early-C19 drive bridge, of simple design, yet well-constructed.

Historic interest:

* for its close historic association with Auckland Castle Park created for the Prince Bishops of Durham as a hunting estate, and in particular for its construction by William Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham from 1826 to 1836.

Group value:

* it retains its historic relationship with the listed Auckland Castle and the registered Auckland Castle Park, and benefits from a spatial group value with numerous other listed buildings.

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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