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Over Bridge

Over Bridge
The Over Bridge
Crosses West Channel of the River Severn near Gloucester
Locale Gloucester, England
Material stone
Total length 150 feet (46 m)
Number of spans single arch
Designer Thomas Telford
Construction begin 1825
Construction end 1828
Over Bridge is located in Gloucestershire
Over Bridge

Over Bridge, also known as Telford's Bridge, is a single span stone arch bridge spanning the canalised West Channel of the River Severn near Gloucester. It links Over to Alney Island.

Although there was a crossing at Over recorded in the Domesday Book,[1] this famous bridge was built by Thomas Telford between 1825 and 1828, to carry traffic east-west. It was opened in 1830 and remained in use for traffic until 1974.[2] Until the Severn Bridge was built in the 1960s this was the lowest point downstream that the Severn could be crossed by road bridge.

1887 engraving

The arch spans 150 feet (46 m), and was based on Jean-Rodolphe Perronet's 1774 design for a bridge over the River Seine at Neuilly. It combines both an elliptical profile over most of the soffit with a segmental profile at its faces. This feature is known as a corne de vache.

Wooden centring used during its construction

When built, the arch sank by 2 inches when its timber centering was removed, and another 8 inches due to settlement of the arch foundations.

Underneath the bridge

Today it is a pedestrian-only bridge, and is in the guardianship of Historic England as a Scheduled Ancient Monument reference number 1015873. [3] Road traffic on the A40 crosses the Severn on a new bridge alongside and upstream of it.

This is the last road bridge over the Severn before the Severn Crossings, and the most downstream free crossing, although the Severn Bridge has free access for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds and, as previously stated, there is no vehicular access to Over Bridge.

The Over Bridge can be seen on the train travelling from Gloucester on way to Lydney or Chepstow on the South Wales Railway.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  • Cragg, R., Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales & West Central England, Thomas Telford Publishing, 2nd edn., 1997
  • Witts, C., A Century of Bridges, River Severn Publications, 2nd edn., 1998

External links

  • Over Bridge page at English Heritage
  • Over Bridge on the BBC website
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