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Ferry Bridge

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Ferry Bridge is a historically important crossing over the River Aire on the Old Great North Road. It linked Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire and Brotherton in North Yorkshire. The village of Ferrybridge is named from the stone bridge over the Aire that replaced an ancient ferry. The current bridge was designed by John CarrProlific architect who worked mainly in the North of England, (1723–1807)., a former bridgemaster for the West and North Ridings of Yorkshire.[1] It was built by Bernard Hartley and opened in 1804. The bridge was scheduled as a Grade I listed structure in 1967.[2]


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Carr’s bridge
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The Close Rolls of April 1228 record that a bridge built in 1198 collapsed and several crusaders or pilgrims were drowned. It was not replaced until the late-14th century when a bridge with seven pillars and a chantry chapel at one end was constructed. In the 17th century, the bridge carried traffic on the Great North Road, the major coaching route between London, York and Edinburgh. As traffic increased, a competition for a new bridge was announced in the Leeds Mercury of 21 January 1797. John Carr of Horbury was adjudged the winner, and Bernard Hartley was appointed surveyor and builder; the bridge was opened in 1804.[3]


The bridge is constructed from millstone grit ashlarMasonry of squared and finely cut or worked stone, commonly used for the facing of a building.. It has eight round-headed arches, four on land on the Ferrybridge side, one on land on the Brotherton side and three larger arches above the river. Canted cutwaters between the river arches are surmounted by refuges in the bridge parapet. The three-course parapet has a vase balustrade to the central section and splayed ends with rounded caps to three ends. The bridge has plaques inscribed “JOHN CARR ESQUIRE OF YORK ARCHITECT 1797”, “FERRYBRIDGE BROTHERTON” and “BERNARD HARTLEY OF PONTEFRACT BUILDER 1804”. It was restored in the 20th century.[2]