Filed under Heritage

The Woodbridge

The Woodbridge

The original bridge that spanned the gap between the parish of Brosley and Sutton Maddock was constructed of wood leading to the adjacent inn being named ‘The Woodbridge‘.

The name ‘Woodbridge’ comes from the bridge adjacent to the pub which connects the parish of Brosley on the south bank of the river and Sutton Maddock on the north bank. Architect and bridge builder William Hayward designed the bridge, which was the first crossing of the Severn at Coalport. His scheme encompassed two timber-framed arches built on stone abutments and a pier, and was opened in 1780.

The opening of the bridge was somewhat played down as the impending showcase “Iron Bridge” further upstream was already being trumpeted as a technical masterpiece. The wooden bridge did not survive long unfortunately, as the central pier was severely damaged by flooding in a storm in 1795.

As you can see the current bridge is no longer constructed of wood:

After the destruction of 1795, the bridge remained closed until the Trustees, of what was to become known as Coalport Bridge, had it rebuilt in 1799 as a hybrid of wood, brick and cast-iron parts, cast by John Onions. The two original spans were removed and replaced by a single span of three cast iron ribs, which sprang from the original outer sandstone pier bases. The bridge deck was further supported by two square brick piers, the northern one constructed directly on top of the stone pier base and the southern one set back slightly towards the river bank. The remainder of the superstructure was built of wood and may have reused some of the original beams. However by 1817, this bridge was failing again, attributed to the insufficient number of cast iron ribs proving inadequate for the volume of traffic. Consequently, the bridge proprietors decided to rebuild Coalport Bridge once again, but this time they chose to do so completely in iron.
The date of 1818 displayed on the bridge’s midspan panel refers to this substantial work which allowed the bridge to stand without major repairs, for the next 187 years.

The full history can be viewed here.

6 Comments CherryPie on Jun 5th 2013

6 Responses to “The Woodbridge”

  1. Lisl says:

    What a very attractive bridge, Cherie – and an interesting history – thank you or taking the trouble to show it all

  2. J_on_tour says:

    Definitely unique to that part of the world. Nice how you captured the house as well.

  3. Sean Jeating says:

    Ah, CherryPie, as for ‘woodbridge’: You will enjoy visiting this post at Susan’s and by scrolling down to see not just wooden but “living bridges”. Enjoy. : )