Beg­gar’s Bridge

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

THERE are many well pre­served pack­horse bridges in York­shire, but none has the ro­man­tic leg­end of Beg­gar’s Bridge in Eskdale. Strad­dling the Esk near Glais­dale, it was built around 1620 with low para­pets to al­low horses with fully laden pan­niers to cross with­out touch­ing the sides. How­ever, the struc­ture’s other name of “Lover’s Bridge” sug­gests there was more to it than per­mit­ting the trans­port of goods through the North York Moors.

Ac­cord­ing to leg­end, the bridge was built by Tom Fer­res, son of a poor sheep farmer who fell in love with Agnes Richard­son, daugh­ter of a wealthy Glais­dale landowner on the other side of the then un­bridged river.

Fer­res was told they could marry only if he be­came rich, so he sailed to the Caribbean and made his for­tune.

On his re­turn, he claimed his bride, be­came Lord Mayor of Hull and built the bridge so that fu­ture lovers would not be kept apart by the Esk.

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