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
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.
History 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.
Exterior 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
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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