Afon  Hafren  or  River  Severn

October 2010

The plan is for this page to include a photograph and notes for every bridge over the river Severn.  Only one third of the bridges have so far been recorded here.

The Severn was once the busiest river in Europe, and in view of its length, it is not surprising that some of the bridges were built by great engineers such as Telford.  One of his ideas was a standard cast iron bridge of about 150 foot span, which reduced the amount of design work he had to do.  Several of these are still in use across the Severn, though one was never built.  Telford planned to build such a bridge across the Severn between Gloucester and Over, but some of the notables in Gloucester would not allow the use of cast iron, though in fact the bridge would have been invisible from the city.  Telford had to build a very flat masonry arch, which was much heavier than the iron design.  This in itself was a source of extra expense, and matters were made worse when the crown of the bridge sank about 25 cm when the centring was eased.  The soil data available to Telford had not been adequate.  The alluvial plain west of Gloucester is such that the city is built only on the east of the river, apart from a small settlement on Alney Island, which suffers flooding almost every year.  Nothing practical seems to have been done about this.

 

Severn Arches   Severn Cantilevers   Severn Railway Bridges   Telford's Bridges

Modern Severn Bridges    New Severn Bridges    Severn Floods

Table of Severn Bridges with Grid References     Severn Links

For Severn Bridges Part Two - Click Here

 

Severn  Bridge  Snapshots

Here are pictures of the bridges over the river Severn, in order going downstream, except at Alney Island, near Gloucester, where the river splits into two channels.  To see a bigger picture, please click on the thumbnails.  To see notes about the bridges, and more pictures, please click on the hyperlink.

Starting at the source of the Severn . . . .

 

List of bridges not yet photographed

 

Coalbrookdale Bridges

Buildwas bridge -1992

Disused truss bridge

Power station road bridge - no picture

Albert Edward bridge - 1863

Ironbridge

Jackfield bridge

Jackfield and Coalport memorial bridge

Coalport road bridge

 

Apley Bridge - pictures kindly donated by Michael Parry

 Bridgnorth Bridge

 

Bridgnorth truss bridge

Bridgnorth bypass

 Hampton bridge

 Highley footbridge 

Victoria Railway bridge - no picture

Road bridge - no picture

Bewdley bridge B4190

Road bridge A456 - no picture

 Stourport bridge

 Holt Fleet bridge

Sabrina foot-bridge

 Worcester railway bridge

 Worcester A44 bridge

 A422 bridge south of Worcester

 Upton-on-Severn bridge

 Queenhill bridge

 Mythe bridge

 Haw bridge

The river Severn then divides into two channels.

West channel bridges

Maisemore - A417

Gloucester bridges

New Over bridge - A40

 Telford's Over bridge

 Railway bridge

The next picture shows 

Telford's Over bridge,

 the new A40 bridge,

 the railway bridge,

 and three viaducts.

It was taken on a very dull day.

 

 

East channel bridges

Gloucester bridges

 

East channel A40 bridge

 East channel railway bridge

 East channel A417 eastbound

 Foot-bridge

East channel A417 westbound

Foot-bridge near docks

 Disused railway bridge

New Llanthony bridge Disused foot-bridge   

 

Severn  Estuary

Severn suspension bridge - motorway M48

Second Severn Crossing - motorway M4

Downstream of this last bridge we reach the Bristol Channel, which will probably never be spanned, unless a tidal barrage is built.

 

 

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The  River  Severn  and  its  Bridges

The River Severn is crossed by many fine bridges.  The "Second Severn Crossing", the furthest downstream of them all, was opened in 199.  There were already over ninety bridges, not counting a number of others which have been removed or which have collapsed, and one which was hit by a ship, and not counting crossings by pipelines and cables.  On reading Chris Witts' book, you will find that ninety is not in fact the right number, some were missed in making this list. A journey along the Severn, 210 miles from Severn Beach to the summit of Plynlimon, is a journey through the history of bridge building, offering a look at some structures which were at the forefront of technology when built.  The distribution of their positions, sometimes closely spaced in or near towns,  often far apart, near the mouth and in sparsely populated areas, speaks volumes about necessity, economics, geology and geography.  On such a journey you can visit Berkeley Castle, Slimbridge WWT, Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Upton upon Severn, Worcester, Stourport on Severn, Bewdley, Bridgnorth, Ironbridge, Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Newtown, Caersws and Llanidloes.

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The aim of this web-page is to photograph every one.  The pages about the different types of bridge are ordered from estuary to source, like the list.  If there is an entry in the >> (link) column it is a link to a picture, sometimes with notes.  The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:50000 maps  are numbers 172 162 150 138 127 126 and 136.

Rather than use one huge page about all the Severn bridges, the site provides smaller pages based on type of bridge, history, or builder.  The plan is that eventually the table below will provide a link to at least a photograph of every bridge over the Severn.  Note that a few pictures have been edited, in the interests of clarity, to remove intruding poles and other objects, and, in the interests of privacy, to remove images of peoples' houses.

Visit Severn bridges book for details of a very useful book by Chris Witts, who has spent much of his working life on the River Severn.    This book, called "A Century of Bridges", includes information, a grid reference, and a drawing by the author for every bridge, even including notes about demolished bridges and some history.  A Century of Bridges, ISBN 0 9532711 0 2, is published by River Severn Publications, Gloucester.

Another very interesting book by the same author is called "Along the Severn from Source to Sea", ISBN 1 873877 31 5.  This book is published by Reardon Publications, Leckhampton, Glos.

Severn Arches   Severn Cantilevers   Severn Railway Bridges   Telford's Bridges

Modern Severn Bridges    New Severn Bridges

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Links  for  Severn  Bridges  and  River

Severn Bridges

Free beautiful pictures

Severn bridge builders

Principle Severn bridges - excellent photographs and text

Severn bridges book by Chris Witts

Severn information         Sabrina legend

Severn history         Severn history         Severn history

Severn Boating Information

 

Books

Visit Severn bridges book for details of a very useful book by Chris Witts, who has spent much of his working life on the River Severn.    This book, called "A Century of Bridges", includes information, a grid reference, and a drawing by the author for every bridge, even including notes about demolished bridges and some history.  A Century of Bridges, ISBN 0 9532711 0 2, is published by River Severn Publications, Gloucester.

Another very interesting book by the same author is called "Along the Severn from Source to Sea", ISBN 1 873877 31 5.  This book is published by Reardon Publications, Leckhampton, Glos.

Both books are recommended if you intend to visit the river.

Severn Arches   Severn Cantilevers   Severn Railway Bridges   Telford's Bridges

Modern Severn Bridges    New Severn Bridges    Severn Floods

Table of Severn Bridges with Grid References     Severn Links

For Severn Bridges Part Two - Click Here