Medieval Bridges, by Mike Salter
Published by Folly Publications, 100 pages. Paperback (N5633)
Brand New Book
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: Of many stone bridges built in Britain between the 12th century and the mid 16th century about five hundred still survive in some form, and are featured in this book. Included amongst them are some of the many clapper bridges
of the moors of the West Country, and early examples of the many packhorse bridges which continued to be built up until the end of the 18th century. The road bridges range from single arches over small streams to multi-arched structures across major rivers and some spectacular northern bridges with ribbed arches spanning twelve metres or more. Building bridges was seen as an act of piety in the Middle Ages and some of the bridges still have chapels or mounts for crosses perched upon them.
From the introduction: The aim of this work has been to include all surviving bridges in Britain where at least some part of an existing structure is thought to probably predate the Reformation of the mid 16th century. In Britain the medieval period is usually taken as going up to the end of the 15th century. However the connection between the church and the building and maintenance of bridges and the provision of chapels on or beside them was so strong during the whole of the period up to the time of the Reformation that going up to the mid 16th century makes sense. For England and Wales, John Leland’s Itinerary of c.1535-42 happens to coincide with the Reformation period and provides us with much useful information about which bridges were then at least partly of either stone or brick.
Bridges or constituent parts of them can be difficult to date even to a particular century, let alone to a specific point within a century. Most late 16th and 17th century bridges tended to continue with the general style, dimensions and building techniques of medieval bridges, so it is impossible to be precise about whether certain bridges are of before or after the stated cut-off point. The fact that the Reformation took effect a few years later in Scotland has also been taken into account although there are no bridges there assumed to date precisely from the critical period c.1540-60. Many bridges which are generally regarded as 16th century have been included, unless there is a specific reason for assuming that nothing of the present fabric is likely to predate the 1560's. The oldest bridge excluded from the main gazetteers is that of 1563 at Brecon.
Bridges in this book mostly lie on public roads or rights-of-way, although in some cases little or nothing of the oldest parts can be seen from road level. In several instances old features are only visible from the water or private land not crossed by paths. In addition many bridges have multiple names. Place names have been generally been prefered for the gazetteer entry headers, with other names usually given in the entry.
The book is illustrated throughout with lots of small black and white (and some colour) photographs.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Please note there is a price (printed) on the rear side cover, as well as a small price sticker, also on the rear side.