Rivers2021-02-22T12:54:27+00:00

In travelling between London and Edinburgh you will cross at least a dozen major rivers. In the past these held a significance which is less obvious today.

Rivers were a challenge for travellers to cross and for road builders to bridge. They were an important part of the inland transport network providing routes east and west from the north road. And since time immemorial they have marked boundaries between kingdoms and other administrative areas.

River Aire

The coaches of the Great North Road and todays vehicles on the A1 cross the River Aire at Ferrybridge. The Roman crossing was further west, by ford across the...

River Wharfe

The river flows for 65 miles before joining the River Ouse. Its source is in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park - where Oughtershaw Beck and...

River Don

The Yorkshire Don is not to be confused with its more photogenic namesake near Aberdeen. That said, de-industrialisation and concerted efforts by environmental groups...

River Great Ouse

At 143 miles the Great Ouse is Britain's 4th longest river after the Severn, Thames and Trent. It has a catchment area of over 5000 sq miles. The modern A1 crosses...

River Swale

The Swale is crossed by the Great North Road at Catterick Bridge. The old bridge dates from the 1420s and was the primary crossing until the A1 was upgraded in...

River Wear

The River Wear used to be crossed three times by the Great North Road; twice where the river forms a meander around Durham and once a few miles.....

River Trent

The River Trent at Newark marks where you cross from north to south, or vice versa, on the Great North Road. Well, that’s my view though some.....

River Tweed

The first record of a bridge over the Tweed near Berwick is of one that was destroyed by floods in 1199. A wooden bridge was in place during the following.....

River Tyne

The Romans built the first bridge over the Tyne in around AD 120 - at about the same time as Hadrian's Wall. It is sometimes referred to as Pons Aelius, after the.....

River Tees

The meandering River Tees is crossed by the Great North Road close to Darlington. Today the A1 intersects the Tees to the west of the town. In the past it was.....

River Welland

The River Welland is crossed by the Great North Road at Stamford. In Saxon times there was a fort alongside the river – and the route north was via a ford.....

River Nene

In Roman times, Ermine Street crossed the Nene to the west of modern Peterborough, close to Durobrivae. The site of the Roman bridge is still evident in.....

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