Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Gated bridge


The Monnow Bridge at Monmouth in South wales, a fine stone bridge, was built in the late 1200’s  It is the sole remaining mediaeval fortified river bridge in Britain where the gate tower stands actually on the bridge.
Monnow Bridge




Bridge chapel


Another fine arched bridge spans the River Ouse at St Ives in Cambridgeshire and still carries heavy traffic after five centuries.   Midway across this bridge is a tiny chapel built onto the parapet, with its foundations resting on a pontoon.   The purpose of this type of ‘chantry chapel’ was more than likely to collect offerings from passengers, a type of toll in fact.   Wealthy people were encouraged to endow such bridges on the principle that it was pious work.




St Ives




An old toll bridge


Pretty villages abound in the Peak District of Derbyshire and Baslow, situated on the River Derwent close to Chatsworth, is no exception.   An ancient stone bridge crosses the river in this small village and there is a curious little stone toll booth built into one end.

Baslow Bridge


Still a toll bridge

Travellers crossing the Vale of York are often relieved to find a small bridge near to the village of Aldwark over which they can cross the River Ouse.  This bridge is one of the last remaining toll bridges in Yorkshire.   Cars can cross the narrow bridge on payment of just a few pence.







Toll free

Lower down the Ouse at Selby an incredible wooden, opening bridge, which swivels on ball bearings, carries traffic over the river at what was the only crossing point in the town before 2004.  Built in 1791, the original bridge was replace in 1970 at a cost of £125,000 and had to be built of wood as originally specified by Act of Parliament.  This  toll bridge had created a huge bottle-neck for traffic, especially when the bridge was opened for river traffic, as a result of which the toll was abolished and traffic was able to move more quickly. Further relief came when the town by-passs was opened in 2004 with its new river bridge, leaving the old wooden bridge very much a relic of the past.

Selby Bridge

© Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
To whom I am grateful for the use of his Geograph photograph


The Tyne Bridge


Although the famous ‘Tyne Bridge’ is known all over the world, there are actually 10 bridges over the River Tyne connecting Newcastle and Gateshead. The Tyne Bridge was the longest single span bridge in the UK when it was built in 1928 and opened by King George V. It carried the A1 road, which at that time ran straight through Gateshead and Newcastle, but now crosses the Tyne over a new bridge further to the west.

The Tyne Bridge


Berwick Bridge


Berwick-on-Tweed has long been England’s northern outpost.  Situated on the River Tweed between the north east of England and Scotland, it had a turbulent history, changing hands many times before finally becoming English in 1482.  A very fine stone arched bridge was built over the river in 1624, connecting the town with Tweedmouth, and is still used for motor traffic together with a more modern construction.  The 15 arches of varying height and width ‘walk’ gracefully over the water, as one commentator put it, ‘Like a herd of elephants crossing the river.’ 

 Berwick Bridge




The River Bain


The view from the old bridge at Bainbridge in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, gives a view of what seems to be a perfectly normal river.   However, the River Bain is the shortest river in England. 
This river drains out of nearby Semerwater and runs for just 2 miles through Bainbridge to join the River Ure.

The River Bain

No comments: