Kilgram Bridge, Masham
A medieval bridge at the site of a Roman ford on an important Roman road to Catterick.
Period of construction:
1000 - 1599
Transport Trust plaque:
The first bridges were probably of felled trees lain across the river (Stockbridge and Trowbridge both refer to tree trunk bridges) and then of worked timber.
Kilgram Bridge crosses the river Ure bearing a road which was an important communication route during Roman times. Catterick being a known major centre will have been an important regional focal point, while other sites close to the course of the route include a small camp at Roomer Common and a settlement of probable Iron Age origin close to Horsecourse Hill, Grewelthorpe.
A Roman paved ford has been found at Kilgram, well preserved thanks to it being protected by it's use as a foundation for the Norman bridge which was built directly over it. Due to this, it is one of the most well preserved Roman paved fords in Britain.
Kilgram Bridge itself is of known ancient construction, and is believed to date from the early 12th century - probably built around 1145 AD by the Cistercian Monks who founded Jervaulx Abbey nearby. Local myth tells how the bridge was built by the Devil after a pact made with the local population. Kilgram Bridge is first mentioned in literature in 1301. However, a modern assessment of the bridge suggests an early 12th century date to be correct.
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Harrison, David. The Bridges of Medieval England. Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-922685-6 (2004)
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Open at all times
How To Find:
By road: Kilgram Lane crosses the bridge. It is a turning northward off the A6108 half way between Leyburn and Masham, close to Jervaulx Abbey and High Jervaulx Farm.
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