1) A small metal bar with the ends bent, used to hold together two pieces of masonry, notably the capstones on bridge parapets.

1683 lead for coveringe the cramps, Bradford. The verb was also used, as in 1702 when the masons at Boroughbridge were to cramp with iron and soulder with lead … all the topp stones of the Battlements. The capstones often ended up in the river, as a result of vandalism or bad weather, and such incidents also feature in the records of the Quarter Sessions: 1697 putt to Losse ... by having the Batlements ... throwne down into the water which he hade cramped with Iron and Leade, Horbury. In 1718, in an account of flood damage to Hampsthwaite Bridge, it was said that the swollen waters had brought down large timber trees and that these broke down a great many yards of Iron crampt Battlement.

dates 1683 1697 1702 1718

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