Pershore Old Bridge

View archive gallery
Square tr
Square tr
Square tr
Square tr
Square tr
Square tr
Square tr

Local Sponsors

More information

Many thanks to Avon Navigation Trust  and the folks at Pershore College for facilitating this camera's location and capitally funding its installation. The Upper Avon Navigation Trust and the Lower Avon Navigation Trust amalgamated in 2009 to provide one continuous navigation authority on the river, the Avon Navigation Trust. The Great Bridge survives as a five-span bridge with additional flood arches at the north eastern and south western ends. The bridge was constructed in the 15th century and was remodelled during the 17th and 18th centuries. The bridge is constructed from sandstone with a red brick parapet and some blue brick. The bridge has a low parapet with a double dog-tooth string course, saddleback stone coping and brick relief decorations on the exterior. The parapet curves out at the south eastern corner and terminates in brick and stone piers. Of the seven arches spanning the river and flood plain, the central arch is the widest with two arches paired ether side. The principal arches have segmental heads and voussoirs and the central arch has a large keystone. The north eastern flood arch is decorated with a keystone and the south western arch is angled to match the curve of the parapet. On the eastern side of the bridge are five pointed cut waters that rise up to become pedestrian passing places on the top of the bridge. The bridge is approximately 66m long and 4m wide.
The original bridge was constructed in the 15th century by monks from Pershore Abbey. The central arch was enlarged by William Sandys about 1635 and the bridge was further repaired after it was damaged during the Civil War. Although Pershore Great Bridge is credited to the 15th-century monks, there had been a river crossing at the spot long before that. For records show as far back as 1290 Sir Nicolas de Mitton bequeathed the sum of one shilling for the repair of a bridge there. Sir Nicholas was not being unduly parsimonious, for a shilling then was worth rather more than today’s 5p.
Medieval multi-span bridges must have been numerous throughout England, but most have been rebuilt or replaced and less than 200 examples are now known to survive. As a rare monument type largely unaltered, surviving examples and examples that retain significant medieval and post-medieval fabric are considered to be of national importance. Despite partial demolition and the insertion of a road surface, the remains of Pershore Bridge 430m south east of Pershore Cottage Hospital survives comparatively well and contains a number of architectural features of considerable interest. Elements of the original structure will remain concealed behind later stone and brickwork and will provide important information on its construction and rebuilding.