Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Close up of a single arch packhorse spanning the infant River Esk. Daffodils are in flower on the right-hand bank.

Hunter’s Sty Bridge

The River Esk has a few single-arched bridges, but the best one is probably the Hunter’s Sty Bridge. It’s located at the bottom of Huntersty, the ‘steep path of the hunters,’ just past the northern end of Westerdale village.

Hunter’s Sty Bridge was most likely built in the late 13th century to provide access to the Royal Forest of Pickering, although some believe that the Templars, who had a preceptory in the dale, may have patronised its building and its associated flagged trods. The bridge was part of a major medieval packhorse route that linked Kirbymoorside to the south, with Guisborough and the Redcar coast to the north.

The photograph of the bridge shows four ribs supporting the arch, emerging from ribbed abutments. This is a common feature in medieval bridges.

The bridge was restored in the late 19th century, when it is believed the parapets were added. The photo shows a carved panel with the Duncombe family crest, and, on the downstream side, a panel with an inscription reads: “This ancient Bridge was restored by Colonel the Honourable O. Duncombe A.D.1874.” This refers to Octavius Duncombe, the younger son of the first Baron Feversham, who also built Westerdale Hall as a shooting lodge.

General sources:



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