Lendal Bridge - 1863 - Museum Street, York, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 53° 57.607 W 001° 05.215
30U E 625514 N 5980778
Quick Description: Lendal Bridge crosses the River Ouse in York in a north east/south west direction. It carries both vehicular traffic and pedestrians.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/11/2013 11:23:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMGJ70
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 1

Long Description:

The plaque is at the northern end of the bridge on the eastern side. It is set into the ironwork of the bridge next to the stonework of the old toll house that is now a cafe.

The plaque, that is inscribed in a flowery font, reads:

Lendal Bridge
January 8 1863
The Right Honourable
William Par Clark
Lord Mayor

Thomas Page FCS

The History of York website [visit link] tells us about river crossing and the bridge at this location:

"Lendal Bridge was the second of the three modern road bridges built over the River Ouse at York (the first being Ouse Bridge which has existed since as early as the ninth century).

The bridge replaced an earlier ferry service, which had operated from Barker Tower, on the south-west bank, to Lendal Tower. The advent of the railways in York in the first half of the nineteenth century made the ferry service busier than ever with passengers wanting to cross the river going to and from York’s original railway station in Tanner Row.

A bridge to replace the Lendal ferry service was first suggested in 1838 but responsibility for its construction became a point of controversy between the Corporation of York and the railway companies. After much debate, the Lendal Bridge and York Improvement Act was finally passed in 1860 and the foundation stone of the original bridge, designed by William Dredge, was laid later that year.

Then disaster struck. In 1861 the original bridge collapsed during construction, killing five men.

The bridge was redesigned and finally opened in 1863. The new architect, brought in after the failed first attempt, was Thomas Page, who also designed Skeldergate Bridge in York and Westminster Bridge in London.

Lendal Bridge is an iron bridge with details in the Gothic style popular in Victorian England. The ornate parapet of the bridge features the white rose of York, the crossed keys of the Diocese of York and the lions of England. Additional ironwork includes York’s coat of arms and the initials V & A, representing Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The new bridge put the ferryman out of business. Records show that he received compensation of 15 pounds and a horse and cart.

A toll was charged to cross the new bridge to help pay for its construction. The charge was half a penny for foot passengers, a penny for animals and twopence for horse-drawn vehicles. The two small toll-houses can still be seen today, now housing cafés. The last toll was charged in 1894."

The York History website [visit link] gives some additional information:

"Lendal Bridge had its origins in the early nineteenth century, when initial plans for its construction were drawn up. It took some time for further progress to be made.

The construction of the bridge had proved difficult, the local paper reporting in January 1861 that the work had been suspended for some time due to weather difficulties. They reported that piling was about to recommence when the tide allowed, and that the masons would again be able to restart their work. Later on in 1861, the bridge collapsed, and five men were killed.

The dead men were, Richard Masser (aged 15, rivet heater), John Manuel (aged 22, rivetter), Luke Brown (aged 28), Thomas Hoyle  and John Smith (aged 20). The injured were Peter Dealone (aged 15), John Henry Peckett and Thomas Coulter.
Lendal Bridge was completed in 1863, constructed by Thomas Page, who had once been an assistant of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and who had also worked on Westminster and Chelsea Bridges. The bridge had a 175 foot span and cost 35,000 pounds to build.

A ferry had previously served this location, between Barker Tower on one side, and Lendal Tower on the other. After completion of the bridge, the ferryman was given £15 and a horse and cart as compensation for the end of his trade.

At the opening of the bridge, the local paper noted that “few will latterly have watched the progress of the works upon the new bridge at Lendal, but will be gratified wit the rapidity with which Mr . Page, the talented engineer, has pushed on their completion”. The Lord Mayor opened the bridge, accompanied on a procession with members of the Corporation, the magistrates and other public functionaries. The procession went up Stonegate, along Petergate, turning into Little Blake Street directly to the bridge.

Tolls were to be abolished in 1894 for both vehicles and pedestrians, and with the construction of Station Road, the bridge had continued to become important in aiding York’s increasing traffic flow. In 1910 the bridge had to be strengthened to take the weight of the trams which were being taken across it."

Date built or dedicated as indicated on the date stone or plaque.: Opened 8th January 1863

Date stone, plaque location.: North end adjacent to the old toll house.

Road, body of water, land feature, etc. that the bridge spans.: River Ouse

Website (if available): [Web Link]

Parking (safe parking location): Not Listed

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Geoscouts.eu visited Lendal Bridge - 1863 - Museum Street, York, UK 9/28/2014 Geoscouts.eu visited it