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Musgrave's Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in West Fen, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.1011 / 53°6'3"N

Longitude: -0.0057 / 0°0'20"W

OS Eastings: 533621

OS Northings: 357845

OS Grid: TF336578

Mapcode National: GBR JTY.RBZ

Mapcode Global: WHHL4.W9HZ

Entry Name: Musgrave's Bridge

Listing Date: 30 July 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420407

Location: West Fen, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, PE22

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey

Civil Parish: West Fen

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

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Single-span bridge, erected c1805, designed by John Rennie the Elder (1761-1821).


Single-span bridge, erected c1805, designed by John Rennie the Elder (1761-1821).

The bridge is constructed with red brick laid in English bond, having fired red clay coping, and masonry coping to the end of each parapet wall.

The bridge comprises an elliptical arch with red brick voussoirs, flanked by splayed abutment walls. The spandrel walls are surmounted by a red brick stringcourse and parapet wall, with fired red clay coping to the parapet. The bridge carries an earth and gravel carriageway from West Fen Lane on the east, to Musgrave’s Farm and Folly Lane to the west. Musgrave’s Bridge is one of a series of bridges spanning the West Fen Catchwater Drain, engineered by John Rennie, including Frith Bank Bridge (NHLE 1063570), and Clarey’s Bridge (NHLE 1267366). Each is a single-span bridge designed by John Rennie the Elder, listed at Grade II, and dating to c1805.


Musgrave’s Bridge was designed by John Rennie the Elder (1761-1821), a leading civil engineer active in Great Britain and Ireland during the first two decades of the C19. Rennie was a notable designer of masonry and cast-iron bridges, including Waterloo Bridge (listed at Grade II*) and the former London Bridge (the surviving archway beneath the existing London Bridge is listed at Grade II). Rennie’s oeuvre included many canal schemes, land drainage projects, sea defences, docks and harbours.

Rennie’s first major land drainage scheme took place in the East, West and Wildmore Fens in Lincolnshire between 1802 and 1810 for landowner Sir Joseph Banks (1742-1820). The East, West and Wildmore Fens north of Boston comprised over 60,000 acres, and were liable to flooding from rainfall on high ground to the north. Rennie’s scheme involved the engineering of catchwater drains to carry rain water from higher ground to a new outfall on the River Witham south of Boston. The rainfall on lower ground was carried by a new system of internal drains to the existing Maud Foster Sluice.

Musgrave’s Bridge was designed as an accommodation bridge, maintaining pre-existing access from West Fen Lane to Musgrave’s Farm to the west of the catchwater drain. The bridge lies two miles south-east of the Revesby Estate, the home of Sir Joseph Banks. A short distance north at Hagnaby Fen Nature Reserve, an interpretive board explains the engineering and historic significance of the drainage scheme. The West Fen Catchwater Drain is under the jurisdiction of the Environment Agency.

Reasons for Listing

Musgrave’s Bridge, constructed c1805 and designed by John Rennie the Elder, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: for its association with John Rennie the Elder (1761-1821), a leading civil engineer active in Great Britain and Ireland during the first two decades of the C19;

* Historic interest: for its association with the East, West and Wildmore Fen draining schemes in Lincolnshire, commissioned by landowner Sir Joseph Banks between 1802 and 1810;

* Intactness: as a largely unaltered example of an early C19 bridge;

* Group value: for its strong group value with the West Fen drainage network and other John Rennie listed bridges spanning the catchwater drains.

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