York Layerthorpe Bridge

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameYork Layerthorpe Bridge
Alternative NamesLeirfordbrigende; Laterop Postern; Peasholme Green Postern
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityYork
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishYork

Reference to 'Leirfordbrigende' in 1341 suggests that the bridge was preceded by a ford, but the bridge existed by 1309 at the latest. It had three arches in Leland's time. In 1556 £14 14s. 3½d. was spent on the bridge, which was repaired again in 1570. Having been destroyed during the siege of 1644, the bridge was replaced by a temporary crossing of planks and rails in April 1646, and it was not substantially repaired until 1656 when the middle arch was rebuilt. After the passing of the Act of 1793, the Foss Navigation Company constructed a new central arch, and the responsibility for the disrepair of the bridge was in dispute between the corporation and the company in 1815 and again in 1828. In February 1829 it was reported that the Foss Navigation Company's enlargement of the central arch had so damaged the structure that a complete rebuilding was desirable; this was carried out by the corporation in 1829, the new bridge being designed by Peter Atkinson the younger. It was a wider structure than the previous bridge and its erection involved the removal of Layerthorpe Postern which had stood at the southwest end of the bridge. The bridge was widened in 1926 and has not been altered since. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Recorded by Harrison et al as a fortified bridge but arguably a large postern gate (possible with a portcullis) within the York City Wall that lead directly onto an unfortified bridge over the river Foss. Certainly the bridge, per se was not defensible in 1644 when it was destroyed by the defenders in the Civil War siege of York.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE608520
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Wilson, B. and Mee, F., 2005, The city walls and castles of York: the pictorial evidence (York: York Archaeological Trust - The archaeology of York supplementary series; 1/3) p. 57-8, 106
  • Tillott, P.M. (ed), 1961, VCH Yorkshire: City of York p. 510-4 online transcription
  • Raine, A., 1955, Mediaeval York (London: John Murray) p. 11-12


  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 54 online copy


  • Harrison, D., McKeague, P. and Watson, B., 2010, 'England's fortified medieval bridges and bridge chapels: a new survey' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 25 p. 45-51 online copy


  • Bruce Watson, 2013 Sept, Gazetteer of fortified bridges (working list kindly shared with Gatehouse)