1) A ‘bowed’ or curved structure, a word recorded frequently in bridge documents.
Such arches can be pleasing to the eye but they were designed to bear loads, and were not just ornamental features: they required firm foundations, strong abutments and skilful siting. Their construction demanded considerable expertise on the part of the masons, and the word features regularly from the fifteenth century, e.g. 1422 twa pilers, twa land stathes, and thre arches, Catterick Bridge
1486 v archys embowed, Lady’s Bridge, Sheffield. The word was prominent in a Kirkstall agreement of 1616 which opened with the statement that the bridge was intended to be brought over the Ryver with one Arche, and was then followed by items relating to the Settinge of both the Arches which initially seems to contradict the first statement. It is clear though that this included on[e] course Arche a term that I have not otherwise met with. In a memorandum of 1619 there was a distinction in price between the Nether Archstones at 3˝d per foot and the over Arch stones at 3d per foot. Perhaps the ‘course [coarse?] arch’ can be compared with the rough Arch of Paythorne Bridge in 1687. In a contract for Ilkley Bridge in 1675 there were references to Turneing two Rough Arches and to 2882 foot of Rougharchstones .