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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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Vaulted Stone Bridges: From the Eleventh Century to the Late Middle Ages

Vaulted Stone Bridges: From the Eleventh Century to the Late Middle Ages

(p.110) 7 Vaulted Stone Bridges: From the Eleventh Century to the Late Middle Ages
The Bridges of Medieval England


Oxford University Press

The earliest surviving stone arched bridge in England probably dates from the late 11th century, and it seems that at that date they were rare. Over the following centuries, a huge number were erected. Before 1200, very large estuarine bridges were being built in deep, tidal waters. Large arches were constructed in the north by the 13th century, and huge segmental arches by the 14th century. These developments must be related to the ability to erect stone vaults with great precision, to establish foundations in a variety of locations, and to undertake very complex construction projects. The remains of perhaps the oldest surviving vaulted stone bridge in England are encased in later widenings, and under the road to the south of Grandpont (Folly Bridge) in Oxford.

Keywords:   vaulted stone bridges, estuarine bridges, arches, middle ages, stone arches, causeways, foundations

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