Tadcaster Bridge

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Tadcaster Bridge
The bridge in June 2018
Coordinates 53°53′06″N 1°15′35″W / 53.885007°N 1.259851°W / 53.885007; -1.259851Coordinates: 53°53′06″N 1°15′35″W / 53.885007°N 1.259851°W / 53.885007; -1.259851
Carries A659
Crosses River Wharfe
Locale Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England
Official name Wharfe Bridge
Design Bridge
Material Magnesian Limestone
No. of spans 5
Piers in water 3
Opened c. 1700
Closed 2015 Re-opened 3 February 2017

Tadcaster Bridge or Wharfe Bridge spans the River Wharfe in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England. The road bridge is believed to date from around 1700.[1] It is the main route connecting the two sides of the town and one of two road crossings in the town, the other being the bridge for the A64 bypass. Tadcaster Bridge partially collapsed on 29 December 2015 after flooding that followed Storm Eva.[2][3]


The first bridge is believed to have been constructed around 1200, using stone from Tadcaster Castle,[4] and the current bridge was built around 1700.[1] Each of its seven bays has a cutwater and arch supporting the roadway and parapet.[5] Built of Magnesian Limestone, the bridge was widened in the 19th century on the upstream side. It was listed at Grade II on 12 July 1985.[5]

The bridge was temporarily closed after flooding in 2012.[6]

Partial collapse and repair

The bridge on the day after the collapse

Concerns for public safety led to the bridge closing to pedestrians and traffic on 26 December 2015. The town started to flood the same day as a result of heavy rainfall following Storm Eva, and on the evening of 29 December the bridge partially collapsed. It caused the gas main to fracture and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of residents.[2][7] Without use of the bridge, traffic could cross the river only via the A64, which required a long detour. Pedestrians could cross the river using the Tadcaster Viaduct.

The bridge repair took thirteen months at a cost of £4.4 million. The provision of an adjacent temporary pedestrian footbridge was deemed essential.[8] Following a refusal by Samuel Smith's Brewery to allow a temporary footbridge to be built on its land,[9] an alternative site was found using land owned by Selby District Council and Tadcaster Town Council. Tadcaster Albion Football Club allowed access across its car park for people to reach the footbridge.[10]

The bridge reopened on 3 February 2017. The reconstruction, which included a widening of the structure, was funded with £3 million from the government and £1.4 million from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Historic Tadcaster". Tadcaster Town Council. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b "UK floods: Moment Tadcaster bridge collapsed". BBC News. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Video: Onlookers watch on in horror as bridge collapses in flood-hit Tadcaster". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. ^ "The Town of Tadcaster". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b Historic England. "Wharfe Bridge (1132471)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Tadcaster divided as floods force River Wharfe bridge closure". BBC News. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Storm Frank: Tadcaster Evacuated as Bridge Partially Collapses". The Guardian. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Collapsed Tadcaster bridge repairs 'to cost £3m'". BBC News Online. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Landowner 'blocks' temporary Tadcaster bridge plan". BBC News. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Footbridge solution for flood-divided Tadcaster". BBC News. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Tadcaster to be united again as flood-stricken bridge reopens". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2017.

External links

  • "Tadcaster Bridge, North Yorkshire: Investigation, history and significance" – a report to Historic England, February 2016
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