Heritage Locations

Bakewell Bridge

13th century packhorse bridge over the River Wye.


Period of construction:
1000 - 1599

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:


Bridge Street, Bakewell, DE45 1DS

DE45 1DS

Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

Bakewell's name is said to derive from the warm springs in the area - the Domesday book entry calls the town 'Badequella', meaning Bath-well. The town was built on the West bank of the Wye at a spot where it was fordable and the site was probably occupied in Roman times (there is a Roman altar found at Haddon Hall nearby). The Saxons left their mark here and in 924 Edward the Elder ordered a fortified borough to be built here. The church was founded in 920 and some Saxon fragments can be seen in the porch.

Little except the bridge across the Wye (built around 1300 though widened since then) now survives of the old Bakewell, which was quite medieval in character until the early 19th century. In 1777 Arkwright opened a mill in the town and it was perhaps the resulting surge in prosperity which caused the town to be largely rebuilt in the 19th century.

The picturesque early thirteenth century bridge spans the river Wye. During the early part of its history, it formed a much used Pack Horse way that led towards Sheffield and Chesterfield. To the west of Bakewell, this route went via the Old Portway and Haddon Fields towards Alport. 


Addison, Sir William, The Old Roads of England, Harper Collins, ISBN 0 7134 1714 5 (1980)

Albert, W., The Turnpike Road System in England 1663- 1840, Cambridge University Press, ISBN O 5210 3391 8 (1972)

Challis, Chris, Packhorse Bridge, Aylestone, T. Savage, ASIN: B0007B7S02 7S02 (1986)

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

Hartwell, Michael, Illustrated Guide to the Packhorse Bridges of the Lake District, Ernest Press, ISBN-10: 0948153318 (1994)

Hinchcliffe, Ernest, Guide to the Packhorse Bridges of England, Cicerone Press, ISBN-10: 1852841435 (1994)

Lewis, Carenza, Village, Hamlet and Field: Changing Medieval Settlements in Central England, Windgather Press, ISBN-10: 0953863034 (2001)

Williamson, Tom, Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment, Windgather Press, ISBN-10: 0954557581 (2004)

Opening Times:
VIewable at all times.

How To Find:
By road: On A619 on the eastern side of Bakewell.


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