Bath St. Lawrence's Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameBath St. Lawrence's Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthorityBath and North East Somerset
1974 AuthorityAvon
Civil ParishBath

ST75056434 - St. Lawrence's Bridge was built before 1220, rebuilt or repaired in 1363, widened over the arches in 1754 and a new bridge was built in 1965. (Bath and North East Somerset HER)

Bath (River Avon), Bath Bridge of late 12th or early 13th century date, with gatehouse, described by Leland as 'a large gate with stone arch' (Chandler 1993, 405). It was dismantled during or shortly after the English Civil War (1642-51) and the bridge was demolished in 1754. (Davenport 2002, 134)

Saint Laurence's Gate is something less that the former {South Gate}, the Aperture being but ten Feet broad, and thirteen Feet six Inches high in the clear: And the wole Structure is little Superior to that of East Gate. (Wood 1765 p. 325)

Saint Laurence's Bridge makes a Passage over the River Avon, for joining Horse Street to Haulway: And the Structure consists of five Apertures, covered with Semi-Circular Arches: The Top of the Bridge is eleven Feet six Inches broad over the Arches; but much wider over the Butments; and the Buildings fronting it are the small Chapel of Saint Laurence, elevated over one of the Piers, and four dwelling Houses erected on the Banks of the River, by the Side of the Butments of the Bridge.

The Narrowness of this Bridge is now become a publick Nuisance; and as the Reparation of it is in the Corporation of the City, that Body of Citizens cannot apply the Revenues of the Chamber to a better purpose than in widening it, as Bristol Bridge was antiently widened, so as to render the Southern Entrance to the City safe and commodious to his Majesty's Subjects. (Wood p. 326)

Gatehouse Comments

The bridge was south of the city and was outside the circuit of the city walls. Speeds map and Mead drawing appears to show a modest gate at the south end of the bridge. The medieval bridge was replaced in 1754 by a bridge itself replace in 1965 by the current Churchill Bridge on a slightly different site.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST750643
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  • Bird, S., 1986, Bath History (Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd) Vol. 1 p. 132-3
  • Cunliffe, B., 1986, The City of Bath (Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd) p. 85
  • Mead, R. 'Aquae Solis from the top of the Southern Hill' in William Stukeley, 1776 (2edn), Itinerarium Curiosum Vol. 1 plate between p. 146 and 147 online copy
  • Wood, John, 1765 (2edn), A Description of Bath (London) p. 325, 326 online copy


  • Speed, John, 1611-12, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain online copy
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 405
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 139 online copy


  • Harrison, D., McKeague, P. and Watson, B., 2010, 'England's fortified medieval bridges and bridge chapels: a new survey' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 25 p. 45-51 online copy
  • < >Green, E., 1893, 'Bath Old Bridge and the Oratory thereon' Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club Vol. 7 p. 25-34 online copy < >
  • Davis, C.E., 1857, Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 13 p. 138 online copy


  • Bruce Watson, 2013 Sept, Gazetteer of fortified bridges (working list kindly shared with Gatehouse)