A late-C18 brick and stone bridge spanning the Chesterfield Canal as it passes through the village of Clarborough in Nottinghamshire. The canal was surveyed by the pioneer canal engineer, James Brindley and was completed in 1777, sixteen years after the opening of his Bridgewater Canal, the development of which marked the beginning of the canal age.
Reason for Listing
The Clarborough Top Bridge, constructed between 1771 and 1777, which spans the Chesterfield Canal, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the bridge forms part of the Chesterfield canal, surveyed and engineered by James Brindley, considered to be the most celebrated canal engineer of his day. The canal opened in 1777, sixteen years after the completion of Brindley's ground-breaking Bridgewater Canal which marked the beginning of the pioneering phase of canal construction of which the Chesterfield Canal is part;
* Intactness: the bridge has escaped serious alteration with the main arch, abutments and parapet walls surviving in their original form, and fulfilling their original function on an active waterway.
The development of the canal network in England signalled a revolutionary change in the history of transportation and transformed the scale and speed with which goods and materials could be transported. The canal system also had a profound impact upon both urban and rural landscapes, and saw the development of pioneering engineering and constructional skills on a scale not seen in a transportation context since the Roman occupation.
The canal overbridge at Clareborough in Nottinghamshire carries a minor road - Smeath Lane- leading from the A621 through the village of Clarborough over the Chesterfield canal as it heads northwards from Retford. The route of the Chesterfield canal was planned by the pioneer canal engineer, James Brindley in 1769, and the canal was completed in 1777, five years after Brindley's death, after which time the construction of the waterway was overseen by John Varley and his successor Hugh Henshall.
Canal bridge, aligned east-west to carry Sneath Lane, Clarborough over the Chesterfield canal. The canal opened fully in 1777 and was engineered by the notable canal engineer James Brindley.
MATERIALS: constructed of red brick with stone dressings and copings.
EXTERIOR: the bridge is of single elliptical arch form, spanning the canal and the canal towpath. There are sloping approaches at both ends of the bridge, with substantial raking abutments. The bridge arch springs from a deep ashlar band set on a low brick plinth. On either side of the bridge arch are shallow pilasters which extend upwards into the bridge parapets, terminating as rectangular piers with shallow-pitched ashlar caps. The central section of the bridge has brick parapet walls with a deep ashlar coping. At the head of the bridge arch is a band course which extends into the downward sloping abutment wall parapets, ending at low terminal piers with ashlar caps.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.