Durham Elvet Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameDurham Elvet Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishDurham

Bridge. Early C13 incorporating one arch of late C12 work. Central 3 arches renewed after 1771 flood; north side (upstream) doubled in width in 1804-5. Coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings. 7 river arches, 2 land arches on west and one on east. East arch stepped southwards is round and chamfered; other south arches are double-chamfered and 2-centred, with 5 ribs of which the outer is chamfered; northern extension has cutwaters alternately sloping- topped and hipped, flanking 2-centred arches. Hipped south cutwaters. Band at road bed level; parapet with low rounded coping; stone steps alongside on north side at west end. 2 west land arches are beneath present road; the easternmost of them adapted as house of correction in 1632 has iron grilles over boarded doors. South-east arch supported medieval chapel of St. Andrew, of which part may survive under No. 97 Elvet Bridge (q.v.). (Listed Building Report)

Elvet Bridge was built by Bishop Pudsey (1153–95), and with the exception of the two centre arches, which have been rebuilt, the old bridge is intact. It was guarded by a gate and towers and had a chapel at each end; that on the east side still remains. (VCH)

A gateway stood at Elvet Bridge as part of the defences of Durham built in 1315. It was demolished in 1760. (Keys to the Past D1218)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ275424
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Sarah Ross and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Page, Wm (ed), 1928, 'The city of Durham: Rivers, bridges and mills' VCH Durham Vol. 3 (London) p. 62-4 online transcription
  • Jervoise, E., 1931, The Ancient Bridges of the North of England (London; The Architectural Press for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) p. 40-3


  • 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)