Ferrybridge Old Bridge


Designed in 1797 by John Carr


Building completed in 1804
by Bernard Hartley


An advert (read advert.. On 21 January 1797, the following advertisement appeared in the Leeds Mercury :-
West Riding of Yorkshire
NOTICE is hereby given That the Christmas General Quarter Sessions of the Peace will be adjourned from Doncaster, to be held at the House of Mr. Hall, in Ferrybridge, on Thursday The Twenty-sixth Instant, at the Hour of Eleven o'Clock in the Forenoon, in order to take into Consideration, and decide whether the intended New Bridge at the Place shall be built in the Situation of the present Bridge, or in one a little higher up the River, as now staked out for that Purpose; at which Time and Place such Persons as think proper may deliver in Plans for building the said Bridge in either Situation; and a proper Gratuity will be given to the Person who shall produce the most approved Plan or Plans for building the said Bridge.
By Order
Deputy Clerk of the Peace,
Wakefield. January 14th. 1797
 × close advert
) was placed in the 21 January 1797 edition of the Leeds Mercury for a competition to design a new bridge crossing at Ferrybridge. Plans had to be submitted within 5 days of the advert being published. John Carr, an eminent architect from York, at the age of 74, submitted the winning entry.
Bernard Hartley was appointed Surveyor in 1797 and commenced building the Bridge using direct labour.
An abstract from the accounts for the years 1799 to 1803 contains some interesting information regarding the expenditure on the erection of the bridge. In 1799 the cost of "ale" supplied to the workmen was £142 (about 1/30 of the total annual bill). The amount spent on "ale" in the following year was drastically reduced to about £10.
The total cost of the bridge is not clear, however the total cost of the works up to April 21st April 1803 was approximately £24,864.
The Bridge was scheduled as a Grade 1 listed ancient monument in 1967.

(Photographs reproduced with the kind permission of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council)

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