Old Bridge, Huntingdon


Old Bridge, Huntingdon
The old bridge over the Great Ouse. Both the modern steel footbridge to Godmanchester and the A14 flyover are invisible from the River Park and this angle.

The old bridge in Huntingdon (now part of Cambridgeshire, England) is a well-preserved medieval stone bridge over the River Great Ouse, connecting Huntingdon to Godmanchester.

History

The town has long been an important bridgehead, with Ermine Street (connecting London to Lincoln and York), as well as various east-west trade routes, crossing the Great Ouse here. Ermine Street would have first crossed the river here via a ford, believed to be some way to the west of the present bridge.[1] Edward the Elder built a wooden bridge in the early 10th century a few yards to the west of the current bridge, and also ordered the nearby Huntingdon Castle to be rebuilt. Until the 1107 construction of the first bridge in St Ives, it is believed that there was no bridge further downstream, and foreign trade would navigate the river as far upstream as Huntingdon.[1]

Responsibility for the bridge's repair was for centuries a matter of dispute. In 1259 a court ruling finally ordered that the county should pay to keep it repaired in return for rendering the bridge toll-free. Nonetheless, the bridge remained in a poorly maintained state, and by 1329 was declared to be in severe danger of collapse.[1]

The current bridge was constructed around 1332, with work starting on both banks or the river. The slight kink near the central pier was a result of the lack of alignment of the two halves.[2] Consisting of six arches and faced with ashlar, the parapets which form recesses for pedestrians, are triangular in shape on the north side, and semi-hexagonal on the south.[1]

It was intended for both pedestrian and horse-drawn transport (the bridge has recesses for people to stand to let the heavier traffic pass), but now serves exclusively for light vehicular traffic. Pedestrians use a parallel footbridge just metres upstream, and heavy goods vehicles must use the modern bridge, which forms part of the A14 bypass.[3] However, until that was built in 1975, the narrow medieval bridge stood alone, and had to be used by both lorries travelling the Great North Road and footgoing shoppers, to the dissatisfaction of all parties.[citation needed]

The bridge is now Grade I listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[4]

In 2006 an entire portion of parapet was struck by traffic and plunged into the river, the repair has been done to English Heritage standard.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "The Borough of Huntingdon". British History. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42469. 
  2. ^ The River Great Ouse and Tributaries, (2006), Andrew Hunter Blair, Imray Laurie Norie and Wilson, ISBN 978-0-85288-943-5
  3. ^ Huntingdon River Bridges
  4. ^ Cambridgeshire County Council: Bridge maintenance policy, accessed 2009-10-31

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Old Bridge — may refer to: Bridges Old Bridge, Svilengrad, Haskovo Province, Bulgaria Old Bridge, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England Old Bridge, Pontypridd, Wales Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy Stari most, Mostar, Herzegovina Starý most (Bratislava),… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Bedford River — A section of the Old Bedford River near Mepal The Old Bedford River is an artificial, partial diversion of the waters of the River Great Ouse in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. It was named after the fourth Earl of Bedford who contracted… …   Wikipedia

  • Huntingdon and Godmanchester — Coordinates: 52°19′08″N 0°10′30″W / 52.319°N 0.175°W / 52.319; 0.175 …   Wikipedia

  • Huntingdon (Angleterre) — 52° 20′ 11″ N 0° 10′ 18″ W / 52.3364, 0.1717 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Old North Road railway station — Old North Road Old North Road station in March 2009 Location Place Longsto …   Wikipedia

  • Old Indiana County Courthouse — U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Huntingdon — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 52.3364 longitude= 0.1717 official name= Huntingdon population= 19,830 shire district= Huntingdonshire shire county = Cambridgeshire region= East of England constituency westminster= Huntingdon post… …   Wikipedia

  • Old Street station — For the Shenzhen Metro s Laojie Station, see Laojie Station. Old Street …   Wikipedia

  • St Ives Bridge — The fifteenth century St Ives Bridge across the fast flowing River Great Ouse in St Ives, Cambridgeshire is famous for incorporating a chapel. This is a rare phenomenon mdash; there are only two other bridge chapels in England, both in… …   Wikipedia

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania — Location of Huntingdon County in Pennsylvania This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.