List of bridges in Cambridge

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The following is a list and brief history of the bridges in Cambridge, England, principally those over the River Cam.

The River Cam enters Cambridge from the south west of the city and heads north past many of the historic colleges of the University of Cambridge along the open area known as The Backs. After passing St John's College, it turns sharply and runs east, passing the weir at Jesus Green and the boathouses alongside Midsummer Common. Passing Chesterton, it turns north again and leaves the city, running a further 12 mi (19 km) before merging with the Great Ouse at Pope's Corner to the south of Ely.

Bridges over the River Cam (south to north)[edit]

Upper River (upstream of mill pond weir)[edit]

Trumpington Bridge (1790)[edit]

The most upstream bridge in Cambridge (UK Parliament constituency) lies along Grantchester Road between Grantchester and Trumpington.[1] Also known as Brasel Bridge, this 1790 brick bridge replaced a wooden bridge at the site of a ford.[2]

Footbridge, Coe Fen[edit]

Links Coe Fen behind The Leys School over a second small bridge to Lammas Land, near the area known as Hobson's Paradise. Also known as Sheep's Green bridge, it was closed in the second quarter of 2006 to replace the steps with ramps to make it easier for cyclists and prams to cross. The bridge decking was also replaced.map 1

Fen Causeway Bridge[edit]

The first road bridge that is reached as the river enters the city. The road was formally opened on 9 December 1926.[3]map 2 The bridge is sometimes called the "Lesbian Bridge", from the nature of the graffiti sometimes written on its underside.

Crusoe Bridge (1898–99)[edit]

A steel footbridge with timber deck and supported on four cast-iron columns,[4] linking Sheep's Green and Coe Fen, and the final bridge on the 'Upper River' before it reaches the small weir at the mill pond.map 3

Middle River (between mill pond weir and Jesus Green weir)[edit]

Darwin College Bridges[edit]

Two wooden bridges within the college grounds connecting the main site with the college's two islands.map 4

Silver Street Bridge (1958)[edit]

The site of bridges back to the 14th century. This wide bridge was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1932.map 5

Mathematical Bridge, Queens' College (1902)[edit]

The Mathematical Bridge

This is the third version of the design, first built in 1749.map 6

Cambridge University, Mathematical Bridge, Queen's College

King's College Bridge (1819)[edit]

The first bridge on the site was built in the 15th century, and has been rebuilt several times before the current incarnation, designed by William Wilkins and built by Francis Braidwood.map 7

Clare College Bridge (1640)[edit]

Clare Bridge

The oldest of Cambridge's current bridges, this bridge in classical style was built in 1639–40 by Thomas Grumbold (d.1659)[5] It survives as the oldest due to all its contemporaries being destroyed by the Parliamentarian forces in the Civil War, to make the town of Cambridge more defensible. Many different stories are told to explain the missing section of the globe second from the left on the south side of the bridge. One rumour is that the builder of the bridge received (what he considered to be) insufficient payment, and in his anger, removed a segment of the globe; another is that complete bridges were subject to a tax at the time it was built, and the missing segment made the bridge incomplete and hence untaxed.map 8

Cambridge University, Bridge, Clare College

Garret Hostel Bridge (1960)[edit]

At least the eighth bridge on this site on Garret Hostel Lane between the colleges of Trinity and Trinity Hall. The current design is by Timothy Guy Morgan, who at the time was an undergraduate student at Jesus College, after an open competition. Morgan died in 1960, before the bridge was completed. It was one of the first post-tensioned concrete bridges in the country.map 9

Students of the University of Cambridge often refer to this bridge as Orgasm Bridge,[6][7] with a possible explanation for the name: its relative steepness causes cyclists much effort to reach the top but this is followed by the pleasurable descent. An alternative explanation is that students are panting by the time they reach the top, due to the sharp incline.

Cambridge University, Old Garret Hostel Lane Bridge (built 1837; replaced 1960)

Trinity College Bridge (1764)[edit]

Designed by James Essex, it replaced a stone bridge built in 1651.map 10

Cambridge University, Trinity Bridge
Cambridge University, Bridge, Trinity College

Kitchen Bridge, St John's College (1709-11)[edit]

Cambridge University, St. John's College from Kitchen Bridge with the Bridge of Sighs to the right

The second oldest of Cambridge's remaining bridges, built by Robert Grumbold (1639–1720) according to designs by Sir Christopher Wren. The bridge was crafted from a single block of limestone, carved to give the appearance of masonry. map 11

Bridge of Sighs, St John's College (1831)[edit]

The Bridge of Sighs

Probably Cambridge's best-known bridge, designed by Henry Hutchinson and based on a similarly named bridge in Venice, although the only real similarity between them is that they are both covered bridges over waterways.map 12. A bridge in Oxford, also nicknamed "The Bridge of Sighs" but more reminiscent of the Rialto Bridge, links two sites of Hertford College, but it bridges New College Lane rather than a river or canal.

Magdalene Bridge (1823)[edit]

Magdalene Bridge viewed from the boardwalk near Quayside, with the tower of St John's College New Court in the background.

Named after Magdalene College, which stands nearby. It is very close to the location of the Roman ford (around 40 AD), and the location of the first bridge in Cambridge (probably built by Offa in the 8th century).map 13

The latest bridge was designed by Arthur Browne in Gothic revival style and was rebuilt in the same style in 1982.

Lower River (downstream of Jesus Green weir)[edit]

Jesus Lock footbridge (1892)[edit]

An iron bridge over the weir that divides the 'Middle River' from the 'Lower River', where punting gives way to rowing.map 14

Victoria Avenue Bridge (1890)[edit]

Allowed the residents of Chesterton easy access to the city for the first time. The foundation stone was laid by Frederic Wace, mayor of Cambridge, on 4 November 1889 and the bridge was officially opened by Wace on 11 December 1890.[3] The bridge was rebuilt for strengthening in 1992.map 15

Fort St George footbridge, Midsummer Common[edit]

Named after the Fort St George pub near its southern end. This bridge is now open for use by cyclists.map 16

Cutter Ferry Bridge[edit]

A pedestrian and cycle bridge that links Cutter Ferry Lane with Midsummer Common. The original footbridge was closed in 2003 after over 75 years of service, and removed during December 2004. The replacement, over which cyclists may now legally cycle, was opened on 20 May 2005.map 17

Also known by Cambridge residents as Pye's Bridge because of the one-time nearby Pye electronics factory, and by student rowers as Emma Bridge because of its proximity to Emmanuel College Boathouse.[8]

Elizabeth Way Bridge (1971)[edit]

A plain four-carriageway concrete bridge, opened by Lord Butler in his capacity as High Steward of Cambridge on 13 July 1971,[3] this is Cambridge's most recent road bridge. The opening caused a few minutes of embarrassment when Lord Butler's golden scissors failed to cut the ribbon across the road.map 18 The bridge forms part of Elizabeth Way (A1134).

Riverside Bridge (2008)[edit]

Riverside Bridge

The most recent river crossing connects Chesterton and Riverside near the Museum of Technology.[9] Construction work began in April 2007, and the foot and cycle bridge opened to the public on 5 June 2008.[10] It cost £3.1 million and was partially funded by Tesco to provide increased access to its Newmarket Road store.[11] map 18a

Green Dragon bridge, Stourbridge Common[edit]

Named after the Green Dragon pub opposite its northern end. Also known to student rowers as 'Chesterton Footbridge' as it crosses over what they know as 'Chesterton Corner'.map 19

Railway Bridge[edit]

Crosses the river through east Chesterton, south of the A14 bridge. It is the third railway bridge to be built on this site, replacing a plain plate girder bridge which stood on the site between 1870 and 1930, which itself replaced a wooden bridge built in 1846.map 20

A14 Bridge[edit]

Known (incorrectly) to rowers and others as the "Motorway Bridge". Crosses the river just south of Baits Bite Lock. This bridge is also sometimes referred to as 'Bovis Bridge'.map 21

Footbridge over the weir, Baits Bite Lock[edit]

An elevated footbridge crosses Baits Bite Lock in Milton to a narrow islet. A concrete-arch footbridge then crosses the weir to the east bank near Horningsea.map 22

Other bridges[edit]

Deck of Jane Coston cycle bridge between Milton and Cambridge.
  • The Tony Carter bridge is a covered cycle bridge over the railway just north of Cambridge railway station opened in 1989. It was listed at the time in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest covered cycle bridge. It is named after a Labour councillor of the era.map 23
  • The Jane Coston bridge was opened over the A14 in 2004, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to cross from Cowley Road to Milton. It has a central span of 77 m (253 ft).[12]map 24
  • Coldham's Lane bridge is a cycle and pedestrian bridge over the railway on the south side of Coldham's Lane. It is not a particularly effective route for cyclists, especially those travelling south east.[13]map 25
  • The Newmarket Road Bridge,map 26 the Mill Road Bridgemap 27 near Cambridge Station, the Hills Road Bridgemap 28 and the Long Road Bridge are other bridges over the railway.map 29
  • Cambridgeshire Guided Busway: A14 bridge, Hills Road Bridge, Long Road Bridge, Shelford Road Bridge and Hauxton Road Bridge on former railway lines, plus a new Addenbrooke's Bridge leading over the railway line to the hospital.

See also[edit]

Mapping[edit]

References[edit]