Bedford Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameBedford Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishBedford

The medieval bridge over the River Ouse in Bedford is thought to be of 13th century origin. It was demolished in 1811 and replaced with the current bridge. The medieval bridge had 7 arches and 2 buildings were located on either side of the central arch, one of which was the jail. (Bedfordshire HER)

THIS bridge stands upon the river Ouse, which runs through, and almost equally divides the town. History is silent both as to the founder and the time of its construction. Tradition says it was erected with part of the materials of the castle demolished by King Henry III. in the year 1224. It is highly probable this was built in the place of a much older bridge; as by an extract from Roger Hoveden's Chronicle, in Leland's Collectanea, it appears, that the part of the town, on the southern bank of the river, was built by Edward the elder, in the year 912. It seems, therefore, almost impossible the inhabitants could so long have wanted this necessary means of communication between the north and south parts of the town. (Grose)

Gatehouse Comments

Fortified bridge with gate on central pier. Within the circuit of the town defences although these did not extend to cover the banks of the River Ouse.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL050495
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No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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  • Simco, A. and McKeague, P., 1997, Bridges of Bedfordshire (Bedford Archaeological Council) p. 32-3
  • Farrar, Victor J.F., 2007, Bedford 50 Years Ago: the Architecture of a County town (Old Bedford Modernians' Club)
  • Grose, F., 1783, Antiquities of England Vol. 1 p. 1 online copy [online copy >]


  • Speed, John, 1611-12, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain 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
  • 1949-51, Bedfordshire Magazine p. 205


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