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Mythe Bridge

Mythe Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 11, 2018

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
A438 Over River Severn
Tewkesbury: South West, England and West Midlands, England: United Kingdom
Structure Type
Metal (Cast Iron) Hingeless Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Brick Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1826 By Builder/Contractor: William Hazledine of Shrewsbury, England and Engineer/Design: Thomas Telford
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
170.0 Feet (51.8 Meters)
Structure Length
270.0 Feet (82.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
24 Feet (7.32 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 12 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Detailed Historical Article From Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers About This Bridge

View Autobiography of Thomas Telford

View Historical Biography of Thomas Telford

The approach and abutments were constructed by Hugh McIntosh. William Hazledine, an ironmaster who worked with Telford on many bridge projects, cast the bridge in Shropshire iron. Telford was reportedly so impressed with Hazledine's work that he called him "the Arch conjuror himself, Merlin Hazledine." In regards to this specific bridge, Telford wrote that "I reckon this the most handsomest bridge which has been built under my direction."

The bridge is composed of six cast iron ribs (cast in eight 23-foot segments) and the bridge includes spandrels composed of diagonal members which were known as lozenges due to the diamond shapes they form. The base of the deck is composed of cast iron plates. The general design of this bridge is similar to other cast iron arch bridges designed by Telford. Built for £14,500, the bridge was a toll bridge in 1850.

A reinforced concrete slab deck was added to the bridge in 1923, although the cast iron deck plates remained in place below. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1992. Alterations included steel plates added to the top of the arch ribs, and some bracing alterations and additions. However overall this bridge retains outstanding integrity of materials and design of the cast iron structure. The brick arch approach spans for this bridge appear to have originally had a stone facing. A significant amount of these stones, particularly at the upper arch portions, appear to have been replaced with brick. The surviving stone is unevenly retained on the bridge.

This bridge is difficult to view due to being surrounded by private properties. HistoricBridges.org is grateful to AB Severn Rowing Club for permission to access the bridge making possible an outstanding photo-documentation of the bridge.

Above: Thomas Telford

Above: Details of the arch as shown in Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers paper.

Above: Details of the approach and abutment as shown in Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers paper.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Listed At: Grade II*


List Entry Number: 1282810 and 1238445

The Mythe Bridge designed by Thomas Telford and dating to 1825.

EXTERIOR: The bridge is built of cast iron with stone abutments. It consists of a single segmental arch with a 52m span resting on a series of six ribs with small X-bracing carrying the diagonal crossed bracing to the spandrels beneath the beam to the road way and balustrade. At each abutment is a series of six tunnel vaults with pointed arches, stone quoins and separated by attached colonnettes.

HISTORY: The Mythe Bridge was built in 1823-6 by Thomas Telford with the main iron casting by William Hazeldine, the celebrated Shrewsbury ironmaster. The bridge is illustrated on the first edition (1884) Ordnance Survey map with a toll house at both the east and west end. The form of the bridge remains constant throughout the historic maps although it is known that the decking was strengthened with a reinforced concrete slab in 1923.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION The Mythe Bridge built 1823-6 by Thomas Telford is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Technological interest: As a bridge of iron construction with a 52m span designed in the early 1820s, part of the first generation of this technologically significant type * Engineering interest: As a significant bridge built by Thomas Telford.


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