Bristol Bridge

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Bristol Bridge

In 1066 there was only one bridge over The Avon at Bristol, a wooden bridge called ‘The  Bridge’. This was replaced by a stone bridge in the 13th Century to which houses and shops were added.

The Old Bristol Bridge Museum

Reconstruction of Bristol Bridge in 16th Century by Samuel Loxton in early 1900s

Alexander Pope’s description of it in 1735 (from William Hunt and Edward Freeman, Historic Bristol, 1889.):

‘You come first to old walls and over a bridge, built on both sides, like
London Bridge, and as much crowded with a strange
mixture of seamen, women, children, loaded horses,
asses and sledges, with goods, dragging along together
without posts to separate them. From thence you
come to a quay along the old wall with houses on both
sides, and in the middle of the street, as far as you can
see, hundreds of ships, their masts as thick as they can
stand by one another, which is the oddest and most
surprising sight imaginable.

The city is very un-pleasant, and no civilised company in it.’

old-bristol-bridge-plan
A plan of the Old Bridge
The Modern Bristol Bridge 1764 to 68 Museum
The ‘Modern’ Bridge – Rebuilt 1763 to 1768 to reflect the increase in horse drawn traffic
Bristol Bridge early 1800s Painting Bristol Museum
Bristol Bridge early 1800s – Painting Bristol Museum
bristol bridge pre 1861 rw
Bristol Bridge pre 1861 – Reece Winstone
PBAN6516 An early photograph of Bristol Bridge taken from Welsh Back. Pre 1861.

In 1860/1 a new iron structure was added to the East of the bridge to widen it by 12 feet and then in 1873/4 similar additions were made to the West of the bridge.

Bristol Bridge Early 1900s
Bristol Bridge early 1900s
PBAX467. Pre-war image of Bristol Bridge and St.Nicholas Church. Photograph by Harvey Barton, Bristol. Original sleeve marked ‘Bristol Bridge’.
bristol bridge from the air c1937 rw
Bristol Bridge from the air c1937 – Reece Winstone
From High Street 1935 – Reece Winstone
Bristol Bridge from Welsh Back 1900s
Bristol Bridge from Welsh Back early 1900s
Bristol Bridge from West
Bristol Bridge from the West 2018