Looking across to Elvet Bridge. Kingsgate Bridge may be seen in the background.
|Location||Durham, County Durham, England|
Elvet Bridge is a mediaeval masonry arch bridge across the River Wear, in the city of Durham, in County Durham, in England. It links the peninsula in central Durham to the Elvet area of the city, and is a Grade I listed building.
The bridge was constructed in 1160 during the time of Bishop Hugh de Puiset (1153–95). Hugh Du Puiset, also known as "Bishop Pudsey" was a powerful Prince Bishop, who instigated a significant amount of building work in northern England. The bridge has a total of ten arches. There is, however, some dispute over how many arches exist. Sixteenth-century antiquarian John Leland believed the bridge had 14 arches, but this has never been proven. The river flows through four full arches - the remaining are dry or semi-dry. Ten arches have been identified, others may be hidden beneath the street on the Elvet side or beneath Souter Peth. A key reason for the construction of the bridge was because of the urban development taking place in what was the then Elvet borough.
In the mediaeval period Elvet Bridge was guarded by a gate and towers, and a number of buildings were situated upon the bridge. This included two chapels which stood at either end (one of which was later replaced with a House of Correction (prison)). The chapel upon the eastern, Elvet, side of the bridge has survived partially intact to the present day and is particularly visible when viewed from the riverbanks to the south. A number of buildings incorporate part of the bridge structure, and 18 Elvet Bridge is also Grade I listed as a result.
The bridge is reputed to be the narrowest row-through bridge in Europe.
|Next bridge upstream||River Wear||Next bridge downstream|
|New Elvet Bridge||Elvet Bridge||Kingsgate Bridge|