Underneath the Arches
Monday, 13th September 2004
A cormorant flies over the canal basin as I walk down to the towpath at Horbury Bridge.
I'd describe the stonework of this arch as rusticated, an architectural phrase that can mean that the surface has been roughened, or that there are deep joints between the blocks. There are mason's marks, one of them resembling the Roman numeral III. The pit marks in the large blocks on either side of the arch run diagonally from right to left which is what you'd expect if a mason held the chisel in his left hand and the hammer in his right.
The sandstone arch, now blocked with modern synthetic stonework, was constructed around 1838 when this section of the Calder and Hebble Navigation opened. Bargees used this entrance in the embankment wall to access Bridge House, where they paid their fees for the use of the canal.
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org