River Winster

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The river from the road to Hartbarrow

The River Winster is a river in the English county of Cumbria. The Winster was the boundary between the ancient counties of Lancashire and Westmorland. It has a relatively small catchment area; other streams flow parallel to it on either side.

The Winster is about 20 km or 12 miles long, and rises about 2 km south of Bowness-on-Windermere, between the hamlets of Winster and Storrs (the latter is on Windermere) and follows a southerly course, flowing past the settlements of Ludderburn, Hartbarrow and Bowland Bridge, before it is joined by Arndale Beck at Bridge House.

From there, the river continues through a valley between Whitbarrow and Cartmel Fell, flowing through Helton Tarn. It continues between the villages of Lindale and Meathop, and finally flows into the Kent estuary just downstream from Arnside.

A former course of the river joined the Kent at Blawith Point, and as a result the peninsula of Holme Island often changed hands between Lancashire and Westmorland.[1]

Packhorse Bridges[edit]

A packhorse bridge is a bridge intended to carry packhorses (horses loaded with sidebags or panniers) across a river or stream.[2]

There are two packhorse bridges on this river near Winster. The Winster Bridge (1729 with 20th-century parapet) on the river at 54°19′37″N 2°54′08″W / 54.3269°N 2.9021°W / 54.3269; -2.9021[3] Another packhorse bridge (Probably 17th-century. Grade II listed[4]) is on a tributary of the River Winster at 54°20′27″N 2°54′18″W / 54.3408°N 2.9051°W / 54.3408; -2.9051, adjacent to A5074 road.[5]


  1. ^ Holme Island, BBC Cumbria. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
  2. ^ "Packhorse Cargo". cottontown.org. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Winster Bridge (That Part in Cartmel), Cartmel Fell". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
  5. ^ "Pack Horse Bridge Beside A5074 a Quarter of a Mile North West of High Mill House, Crook". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

Coordinates: 54°12′10″N 2°52′15″W / 54.202814°N 2.870805°W / 54.202814; -2.870805