Bewdley Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameBewdley Bridge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityWorcestershire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishBewdley

The first bridge between Wribbenhall and Bewdley was probably begun about 1447, when John Carpenter, Bishop of Worcester, granted an indulgence of forty days to all who contributed to the work. It was at least partly built of stone, and must have been destroyed about 1459, when the town was taken by the Lancastrians, for the stones were then granted to her old enemy Worcester for the repair of walls, gates and bridge there. The men of Bewdley, however, undeterred by this disaster, seem to have set to work at once to build a new bridge of the timber fortunately so easy to obtain, and though both this and the ferry were put under the care of a Lancastrian warden in May 1460, it was not long before the Earl of March enjoyed his own again and the king's too. The timber bridge lasted until 1483, when a third bridge was built, towards the expenses of which King Richard III gave 20 marks. As there is no further record of bridge-building in Bewdley till 1795, when an Act was passed for rebuilding the bridge, it may perhaps be assumed that this was the stone bridge which was still standing at the end of the 18th century, a curious patchwork of much damage and many repairs.

There are two sketches of this bridge preserved in the council chamber of Bewdley Town Hall. It was of five arches, and on the third pier from Bewdley stood a timbered gate-house with strong gates on the Wribbenhall side. The north end of this gate-house served as a dwelling for the toll-gatherer, and the other, called the Bridge House, was used as a corporation prison. (VCH)

Three bridges preceeded the one built in 1798 by Thomas Telford. The bridges were built on the site of a Roman and Saxon ford. The 1447 bridge may only have been a footbridge and was broken down during the War of the Roses, its remains helping to rebuild the town's fortifications. It was replaced in 1460 by a wooden bridge which stood on its predecessors remains

This in its turn was replaced by a stone bridge in 1483, on which was built a wooden gatehouse which housed the toll collector's dwelling. The other structure called the Bridge House was in fact a prison and a chapel was built on the north side of the bridge. This bridge was washed away in 1795. (PastScape ref. WAS 1985)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO787753
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  • Barrett, M.B., 1972, 'Bewdley Bridge' in Snell, L.S. (ed), Essays towards a history of Bewdley_ orough of Bewdley) p. 56-9
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1924, VCH Worcestershire Vol. 4 p. 297-317 online transcription
  • Burton, J.R., 1883, A History of Bewdley: With Concise Accounts of Some Neighbouring Parishes p. 27-31, App. pp. xix, xxvii online copy [illustration >]
  • Gwilliam, H.W., n.d., Coach Travel and Turnpike Roads in Worcestershire


  • 1985, Worcestershire Archaeology and Local History Newsletter No. 35 p. 16-18


  • Miller, D., 2006, Archaeological investigations along Severn Side South, Bewdley Archaeological Service - Worcestershire County Council 1427
  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy