York’s Bridges

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York resident and regular contributor. Fascinated by this historic city and always keen to promote local, independent businesses. The man taking the photographs and tweeting from @Jorvik

York Pass

The city of York with its two rivers, the Ouse and the Foss, is reliant on its bridge system.

Ouse Bridge

Ouse Bridge

The oldest known site, dating to the 9th century, of a bridge spanning the Ouse is that of the current Ouse Bridge (built 1821). In 1154 the original bridge collapsed with a large crowd on it, waiting to welcome Archbishop William to York. Although many were injured falling into the river and hit by falling debris no one was killed.

A six-arched bridge replaced it, lined with houses, shops, a toll booth, even a courthouse and a prison and St William’s Chapel. The first public toilets in the country were installed on this bridge in 1367. Some 200 years later, winter flooding caused its partial collapse. The third bridge was built higher giving increased access to more river traffic. Like its predecessor this bridge contained shops and houses. The structure existed until the early 19th century when the corporation replaced it with the New Ouse Bridge in 1821. Initially it ran as a toll bridge recouping costs of the work.

Lendal Bridge

Lendal Bridge

Lendal Bridge, an iron bridge with Gothic features, was built in 1861 to allow improved access to the thriving railway station. Now part of York’s inner ring road, the builder was Thomas Page, designer of London’s Westminster Bridge and York’s Skeldergate Bridge. A toll system operated until 1894; the toll booths are still in place housing shops and cafes. A ferry service had previously existed here from Barker Tower to Lendal Tower.

Skeldergate Bridge

Skeldergate Bridge

Skeldergate Bridge dating to1881 was formerly the site of another ferry service. Designed to open to accommodate taller ships it was last opened in 1975. Skeldergate Bridge links the Castle  area and Baile Hill. It operated as a toll bridge until April 1914.

The Scarborough rail bridge of 1845 incorporates a pedestrian walk above the Ouse. The pedestrian path, originally laid between the tracks, was later moved to the side of the bridge.

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge opened in April 2001, costing £4.2m and funded by the Lottery, local council and local businesses. The stainless steel structure’s higher design protects it from flooding and is a pedestrian/cycle bridge only. It is a key link in the Sustrans National Cycle Routes and part of York’s orbital route.

Foss Bridge, over the Foss, joins Fossgate to Walmgate and dates to 1811, replacing an earlier stone bridge lined with houses. The Vikings constructed the first bridge here which was once the site of a fish market.

Castle Mills Bridge also spans the Foss, forming part of York’s inner ring road. Its name derives from the nearby Castle’s mills. The Siege of York in 1644 brought the first wooden bridge’s downfall; floods destroyed its successor in1746. Today’s bridge dates to 1956 replacing one from 1836.

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