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The Bridges of Medieval EnglandTransport and Society 400-1800$
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David Harrison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226856.001.0001

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Challenges, Options, Sources

Challenges, Options, Sources

(p.77) 5 Challenges, Options, Sources
The Bridges of Medieval England


Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the challenges involved in maintaining bridges in medieval England, as well as options and sources for their design and construction. Floods often destroyed bridges during this period, and the devastation has continued into the 20th century. The main reason why bridges collapse during floods is the scouring of the river bed. Structures suitable for these varying conditions could be built in several ways. All involved the use of timber or stone, and occasionally brick, or a combination of them. Many medieval bridges have been demolished, but a large number of them are known from illustrations, descriptions, observations made when bridges were taken down or repaired, and a few modern archaeological investigations. In addition, more than 200 bridges built before 1600 were able to survive.

Keywords:   medieval England, bridges, design and construction, England, floods, maintenance and repair, timber bridges, vaulted stone bridges

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