Packhorse Bridge

I am now taking you on a little detour just outside Shugborough across the Essex Bridge:

The Essex Bridge links Shugborough to the village of Great Hayward at the point where the rivers Trent and Sow join.

It is believed to be the longest packhorse bridge ever constructed and was built in the late 16th century. The financing of the project was funded by the Earls of Essex who used the bridge to access the hunting forest of Canks Wood – now Cannock Chase – from their home at Chartley Castle a short distance away. Originally it boasted 42 arches but it is believed the bridge was shortened in size in the early 19th century when a new channel for the River Sow was dug. Today it spans over 100 yards and has 14 arches.*

Packhorse Bridge

*From the Shugborough guide book.

12 Comments CherryPie on Feb 25th 2013

12 Responses to “The Essex Bridge”

  1. Fascinating design!

    Did you see Chartley Castle? :)

  2. Astrid says:

    Great angle and that is an unique bridge. Amazing architecture.

  3. rusty duck says:

    It’s still an impressive bridge, the original must have been quite something.

  4. jamsodonnell says:

    That is an interesting design Cherie

  5. james higham says:

    Fabulous stone bridge.

  6. Barbara says:

    Interesting bridge with lots of stopping places to let the carriages past.