Friday, 16 December 2011

Skeldergate Bridge

In 1873 more than 800 people a day were using the Skeldergate ferry crossing to pass into and out of the city. The York (Skeldergate Bridge) Improvement Act was passed in 1875. The foundation stone was laid in 1878 and the completed bridge officially opened to pedestrians on 1 January 1881, with general traffic able to cross two months later. 

Skeldergate Bridge is an iron bridge with Gothic details. The north-easternmost span (on the right) was designed to open, allowing tall ships to reach the busy quaysides further upstream. The bridge was last opened in 1975 and the winding mechanism has now been removed.

Skeldergate Bridge was originally a toll bridge. The toll-house, which also housed the winding machinery, is now a cafe. The bridge was declared toll-free on 1 April 1914, and a regatta was held to celebrate the occasion.


  1. A lovely pic and interesting history. I assume no tall ships need to go further upstream anymore.

  2. No, York no longer uses the river as a means of transporting goods. The last regular traffic was a supply of newsprint to the local newspaper which came in by river until 1997

  3. Absolutely gorgeous. I love the history lesson, too.


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