Monument record MCC2330 - North Bridge, Colchester


Ancient and modern river crossing. The current bridge is Victorian in date.


Grid reference TL 99365 25654 (point)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

A bridge or ford must have been located on or near this site since Roman times, although there is no structural evidence (except wooden piles of possible Roman date found on the site of Last's Garage at Middleborough).

The bridge is recorded in 1189 and the Medieval structure was timber, being extensively repaired in timber by the Borough in 1580.<1> The bridge appears on Speed's 1610 map <2> and the Borough repaired the 'ruinous North bridge' in 1631.<1> The bridge was rebuilt in 1781 and 1843.<1>

In 1843 Wire observed the building of a new bridge and made copious notes in his diary. The northern abutment of the old bridge (a brick structure of three arches, built c.1773(?)) was found to conceal a piece of massive masonry.<3> Also a burial was recovered 'under an old wall of Roman character which was discovered when digging for the foundation of the north abutment of the new North Bridge'.<4>

Watercolour painting of North Bridge.<5>

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Monograph: Cooper, Janet (Ed). 1994. Vol. IX, The Borough of Colchester, A History of the County of Essex. Volume IX. 234, 104, 154, 181.
  • <2> Cartographic materials: Speed, J. 1610. Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.
  • <3> DIARY: Wire, William. 1842-1857. Journal of William Wire. 31 May 28 June 1843.
  • <4> Monograph: Morant, Philip. 1748. History of Colchester (Wire's copy). p15 at end.
  • <5> COLLECTION / PARENT: Benham, Mary. 1918. Collection of works by Mary Benham. COLEM T 98 A1 33.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Oct 27 2016 9:00AM

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