Find out more about bridges in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages large numbers of bridges were built across England, and now you can find out more about them in a free Bridge Chapel Lecture hosted by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

This talk, Bridges in the Age of Cathedrals, will survey the development of the network of medieval bridges, discussing their design and construction, and considering the reasons for their longevity. It will also examine the reasons for the demolition of so many in the period 1770 to 1820.

Speaker David Harrison is an expert in medieval bridges who has written extensively on the matter, including publication of The Bridges of Medieval England: Transport and Society, 400 to 1800.

David Harrison explained: “The achievement of medieval bridge builders was impressive, as might be expected from an age which saw the construction of some of the most daring masonry structures ever built. The same master masons who designed cathedrals were also the designers of bridges, and between 1100 and 1500 an extensive network of masonry bridges was constructed across England.

“There were almost as many bridges in 1250 as there were in 1750, with most of those in the 18th century dating from the medieval period.”

The free lecture will take place on Tuesday, 9 July, at 6.30pm promptly, in the Bridge Chapel, Rochester. Doors will open at 6pm, and tea and coffee will be served.

Tickets are limited and must be booked, either online via or by emailing

Alison Cable, Archives Manager at the Rochester Bridge Trust, added: “The medieval bridge at Rochester was constructed during this period, so this talk is sure to help people appreciate the context of Rochester Bridge in relation to other river crossings around the country.”

The Rochester Bridge Trust, which provides and maintains the crossings at Rochester at no cost to the public, was founded in 1399 following construction of the medieval bridge. For more information about that structure, see:

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