Monks Bridge, Kinniside Common

Monks Bridge, Kinniside

Wet & Wonderful:

This was a lovely walk, following the River Calder on Kinniside Common, but was a little hard going in places due to thick bracken, overgrown grass and lots of deep mud.

Shortly after setting out for the walk, the heavens opened, and as you will know, cameras and water don’t mix very well, so my trusty Canon was stored away in a secure, dry place at the bottom of my rucksack – so unfortunately, I don’t have many photographs to show you.

One of the main reasons I set out on this walk was to check up on an old bridge. This is Monks Bridge in the featured image – it is the oldest pack-horse bridge in Cumbria. It was built during the 17th Century by the Monks of Calder Abbey – the ruins of which can be seen a little further downstream.

I was heartened to see that repairs had been carried out on the bridge, but also disappointed too – the work appears to be over-the-top to me. Literally!

I know it is policy from English Heritage that any repair work carried out on ancient monuments should be done with modern materials so that future archaeologists can observe the differences. But, I’m not sure if that policy also requires a change in appearance.

The bridge used to have a lovely arched surface, now one end appears to be relatively flat due to the repair work. I’ve been in touch with the National Park Authority to ask if this work was authorised – I’ll post an update if I get a response from them.

UPDATE, 17/11/2016:

Thank you for bringing this repair work to my attention, I have made some enquiries and can confirm that the National Trust had Scheduled Monument Consent from the Sec Of State via Historic England – and it is ok. I agree that the repair looks quite stark at present, however, the lime mortar will weather in over time, and the Trust have maintained the difference in surfacing that they uncovered when they removed the turf. This was probably an artefact from an earlier repair.

So – there you have it, from the horses mouth. I do hope, that the Ranger that is correct in his assertion wrt weathering. I’ll reserve judgement, until I revisit in 12-18 months time.

Anyhow. Enough of me yammering. I hope you enjoy the photos that I did manage to take: