Heritage Locations

Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe

Fine medieval bridge over the River Ribble


Period of construction:
1000 - 1599

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:


Edisford Bridge, Clitheroe, Lancs BB7 3LJ


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

Edisford Bridge incorporates the structure of a five arched bridge possibly dating from 1339, when a grant of pontage was made. Today the bridge has nine spans and is considerably wider than the original. It is thought that a timber bridge had been constructed on the same spot before that date. Edisford - "the nobleman's ford" or Anglo-Saxon nobleman - was the scene of an 1139 battle, where King David of Scotland's army fought and defeated the less numerous Lancastrians.

The 1339 bridge was 2.44m wide, later widened by 3.65m on the downstream side. It had pointed cutwaters. Its arches were Gothic in shape and each had three ribs. These can still be seen under the main arch. The four arches to the east (nearest Clitheroe) span the river, the others are over the meadow. The first is a squared Gothic ribbed arch made of sandstone. It spans 7.5m and rises 2.6m. The second span is the largest. It is a segmental circular arch, measuring 17.95m across and rising 4.2m. The next two arches are Gothic and ribbed, spanning 7.6m and 7.7m, and rising 2.47m and 2.56m. The following five spans are over land. Starting at the river, they measure 7.8m, 4.3m, 3m, 3m and 2.9m. Their rises are 1.85m, 1.7m, 1.4m, 1.2m and one metre. All are segmental circular arches.

The bridge is located about a mile west of Clitheroe Castle and is the subject of a noted painting by Turner. 


Addison, Sir William, The Old Roads of England, Harper Collins,ISBN 0713417145 (1980)

Albert, W., The Turnpike Road System in England 1663- 1840, Cambridge University Press, ISBN O521033918 (1972)

Harrison, David, The Bridges of Medieval England: Transport and Society 400-1800, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0199226857 (2007)

Hartwell, Claire, Lancashire: North: The Buildings of England (Pevsner Architectural Guides), Yale University Press, ISBN-10: 0300126670 (2009)

Hindle, P., Roads and Tracks for Historians, Phillimore & Co, ISBN-10: 1860771823 (2001)

Hindley, G. History of the Roads, Peter Davies, ISBN-10: 0806502908 (1971)

Jackson, Gibbard, From Track to Highway, Ivor Nicholson & Watson, ASIN: B00085R4D8 (1935)

Jervoise, E., The Ancient Bridges of the North of England, EP Publishing, ISBN-10: 0854099522 (1973)

Pevsner, Nikolaus, North Lancashire (The Buildings of England), Pevsner Architectural Guides, ISBN-10: 014071037X (1980)

Riley, F., The Ribble from its Source to the Sea, J W Lambert, ASIN: B0008BMXOC (1914)

Sheldon, G., From Trackway to Turnpike, Oxford University Press, ASIN: B0026KBSZS  (1928)

Taylor, C., Roads and Tracks of Britain, Dent, ISBN-10: 0460043293 (1979) 

Opening Times:
Viewable at all times

How To Find:

By road: Off A671, on Endisford Road

By rail: Clitheroe Station is approx 6 km away


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