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Chepstow Bridge (Pont Cas-gwent)

Old Wye Bridge

Chepstow Bridge (Pont Cas-gwent)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 11, 2018

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bridge Street (Castleford Hill) Over River Wye (Afon Gwy)
Chepstow (Cas-gwent) and Sedbury: Monmouthshire, Wales and South West, England: United Kingdom
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1816 By Builder/Contractor: John Urpeth Raistrick
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
111.0 Feet (33.8 Meters)
Structure Length
373.0 Feet (113.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
9.8 Feet (2.99 Meters)
5 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Dated to 1816, this is among the older surviving cast iron arch bridges in the United Kingdom. It is also noted, especially among the older examples, as a multi-span example. Also of note, the length and design of the spans varies. The bridge is a very attractive structure and one of the more well-known cast iron arch bridges in the United Kingdom.

 Although it has received some minor alterations in the form of added steel to strengthen some of the cast iron arch ribs, the original cast iron for the most part remains in place on this bridge, including interior and fascia arch ribs, and bracing between arch ribs.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Listed At: Grade I


List Entry Number: 1101561
Wales Reference Number: 2479

Road bridge over river Wye. Dated 1816, by John Raistrick. Cast iron carried on five ribs of five segmental arches graded from the centre and carried on four massive stone breakwaters, approximately elliptical, and with larger plinths at low water level; abutment on Chepstow side, and abutment to right-angled return in road on Tutshill side. Continuous plain railed balustrade with evenly spaced standards to each eleven square balusters, decorative panel at centre, each side of roadway with elaborate lamp standards incorporated, and cast lettering in silhouette: ANNO DOMINI 1816 and MONMOUTH to South GLOUCESTER to north: the bridge is half in Wales and half in England. Also eight further decorative panels included in balustrade. A singularly graceful design with roadway rising to centre.

Built 1816. John Rennie (best known for his designs for Waterloo, Southwark and London Bridges) originally provided two designs, one for strengthening an existing bridge, one for rebuilding. The eventual design built however, adapted from Rennie, was by John Urpeth Raistrick of Haseldine and Raistrick of Bridgnorth. Water colour drawings of the designs and the report are held by Chepstow Museum. Raistrick specialised as an engine engineer and advised Brunel. Central span strengthened in 1889 by placing steel box-girder ribs under the 3 cast iron ribs. Foundations strengthened 1914 by driving concrete piles into the river bed. Further strengthened in C20. A plaque recording high tide in 1880s is low down on the right bridge abutment.

Iron road bridge across river. A graceful structure comprising five spans; two 10m, two 21m, and the centre one, 34m. Carriageway 3m wide with 1m footways. The bridge comprises cast metal arches with struts 5 deep, braced together on high, long and narrow piers of coursed roughly dressed sandstone; parapet of close-set slender open railings incorporating decorative scrollwork panels and date "Anno Domini 1816", with lettering "Monmouth" and "Gloucester", scrollwork supports to lamps; abutments are of ashlar with bands at road and pier level.

Reason for designation
Graded I as an important early C19 iron bridge of elegant design by a prominent engineer. Group value with the listed items in Bridge Street and The Back


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