Lobby Bridge, Cumbria
N 54° 17.360 W 002° 53.292
30U E 507277 N 6015719
Quick Description: Lobby Bridge is one ancient crossing point over the Winster river. It used to be partly in Lancashire, hence its quality of manufacture and maintenance. See nearby Waymark about Border crossing.
Location: Northwest England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/3/2008 6:53:30 AM
Waymark Code: WM3GDV
Lobby bridge is mentioned in court sessions from 1691 onwards. Over the years it has been rebuilt many times to cope with increasing traffic avoiding the turnpike toll roads to north (Bowland bridge) and to south, now modern A590. One court ruling describes the construction precisely. They seamed to call all bridges across the Winster as Winster bridge.
"1691/2 15 January.
Petition of the inhabitants that the bridge called Winster Bridge dividing Westmorland and Lancashire is in decay and a great part fallen down: Order that the chief constables of Kendal do take a survey thereof and give an account to this Court what the charges will amount to for repair of the same, that half of the same may be collected for the purpose out of the county. Ibid." (visit link
"On 3 July, 1729, Robert Robinson entered into a bond to pull down all and every part of the common bridge belonging to the two counties, situate between Cowmire Hall in Crosthwaite and Hodgehill in Cartmel Fell, called and known by the name of Winster Bridge, now being in very great decay, and erect and build in the same place a new firm stone bridge to consist of one bend or arch of at least 9 yards betwixt the springers and to be 4 yards broad under the arch, and the said new arch to be shot over with good and choice stones called penn stones and when shot and keyed to be well filled, closed and covered with good strong pouring or pottage mortar made of hot lime. The ledges to be 12 inches in thickness and 2 feet 6 inches high from the pavement and well set with good and choice penn stones. Skillfully and well pave over with thin stones set across the arch and made easy and gradually ascending and descending at the ends thereof for carriage and travellers. To finish and complete the work, on or before 1 August next ensuing and the undertakers shall from time to time and all times as shall be requisite well and sufficiently repair, maintain and uphold the same for and during the term of seven years. On 4 August, 1729, Robert Robinson, freemason, gave receipt for £6 5s. being the remainder of £12 10s. the Westmorland share for the new building of the bridge. Browne MSS. vol. i, n. 246; iii, nos. 197, 199; xv, 186." (visit link
Bridges were originally the responsibility of the locality, who could not afford to maintain them, so local courts took over in 1600s. Initially locals gave a tithe of '6 statue days' for road repair. If you had more than three horses, you had give a man with horse to work on the roads for 6 days. Often people paid money instead of doing the work. This evolved into money being raised through rates. Responsibility for bridges always stayed with local government right up to present day. Each county would appoint a County Surveyor to look after all county structures including bridges. Bridge repair is a specialist job and needed a specialist, not a jobbing, builder and surveyor. Many incumbents were in their post for decades. Apart from the bridge itself, county had to keep the roadway and hedges in good repair 100 yards either side.