Hereford Wye Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are masonry footings remains

NameHereford Wye Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishHereford

Rebuilt and widened in 1826, much repaired since. On site of wooden bridge supposedly dating from pre Conquest times; possibly rebuilt in stone in the 14th century, rebuilt with gatehouse at the south end in 1490, damaged and rebuilt during siege of 1645. (PastScape)

Crosses river near SW end of town. Of sandstone rubble faced with ashlar. A wooden bridge existed here from pre-Conquest times and from architectural evidence some part of it was rebuilt in stone perhaps in C14. Rebuilt in stone with gate house at S end in 1490. During 1645, 3rd bay from N broken down, subsequently rebuilt together with much of the piers and cut waters. In 1826 bridge was widened and subsequently frequently repaired. Bridge of 6 bays, first from N has a late C15 4 centred arch of 2 chamfered orders. 2nd bay late C15, 4 centred arch, 3rd bay has C17 segmental arch, 4th bay late C15, 4 centred arch. 5th bay, late C15 arch with modern widening on each side. 6th bay has C18 or modern segmental arch supporting second arch probably of C17 or earlier. Modern widening on each side. All piers have cut waters and triangular refuges at road level (RCHME 1931).

It had been previously thought that Wye Bridge, Hereford, from its structural style and from Duncumbs history that the bridge was built in the 15th century. Documentary evidence, however, shows that a bridge was first mentioned here as early as the first quarter of the 12th century and that it was in need of repair by 1230. During a watching brief on roadworks approaching the bridge very little of archaeological interest was noted. The most important feature was a patch of cobbled surface, just below the level of the tarmac road on the south approach to the bridge, representing remains of an earlier street level (Elsel and Rouse 2000).

During resurfacing of the bridge in 2000 the stone work was recorded at 1:20 scale

It was noted that the key-stone in the tops of the arches had been truncated during strengthening work in the Second World War and that elements of an earlier bridge survive within the fabric of the current monument (Mould and Watt 2000). (Herefordshire HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Within the circuit of the city defences, although the part of the city south of the River Wye was small and, as it still is, mainly open space.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO508395
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Lobel, M.D., 1969, 'Hereford' in Lobel, M.D. (ed), Historic Towns: Maps and Plans of Towns and Cities in the British Isles, with Historical Commentaries, from Earliest Times to 1800 Vol. 1 (London: Lovell Johns-Cook, Hammond and Kell Organization) p. 1-11 online copy
  • RCHME, 1931, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 1: south-west p. 127-8 no.6 online transcription


  • 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
  • Mould, C. and Watt, S., 2000, 'Reports, Herefordshire' West Midlands Archaeology Vol. 43


  • Bruce Watson, 2013 Sept, Gazetteer of fortified bridges (working list kindly shared with Gatehouse)
  • Eisel, J & Rouse, D., 2000, Wye Bridge Approaches, Hereford: A Report on an Archaeological Watching Brief.. Archaeological Investigations Ltd. 454. Rep No. 454.