Newton Cap Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are major building remains

NameNewton Cap Bridge
Alternative NamesNewtonbridge; Bishop Skirlaw's Bridge
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishBishop Auckland

Road bridge. Reputedly built for Bishop Skirlawe late C14, but probably much rebuilt. c1900 widening of road and footpaths on cantilevered girders. Original parapets remain between road and paths. Stone with ashlar dressings; iron handrails to cantileverd paths. 2 arches, the north segmental with span approx 30m, the south pointed with span approx 28m, both with 3 rings of voussoirs, the inner ones stepped back. No ribs. Pedestrian refuges above massive pointed cutwater between arches. Stone road drains at road bed level. South end probably had bridge gate, on projecting foundations which were removed from bridge abutment in alterations c1900 (Thompson 1901). Stile in east parapet south end leading to L-plan steps, flanked by stone-coped rubble walls and partly renewed, down to river bank. Restored inscription on west parapet coping near north end 'Edw. Palfrey's Leap, 1744'. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The evidence of a gatehouse, in the form of door jambs on both side, was removed in 1900 when cantilevered footways were added to both sides of the bridge, the parapet wall was also reduced in width at that time.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceNZ205302
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Tilly, G., 2002, Conservation of Bridges (London: Spon Press) p. 115-16
  • 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. 35-6
  • Surtees, H.C., 1922, History of The Township of Newton Cap p. 10
  • Raine, J. 1852, Brief Historical Account of the Episcopal Castle of Auckland (Durham) p. 45


  • < >Thompson, J., 1901, 'Newton Cap Bridge, near Bishop Auckland' Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne (ser2) Vol. 10 p. 20-23 < > online copy


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