Radcot Bridge

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For the 1387 battle, see Battle of Radcot Bridge
Radcot Bridge
Radcot Bridge.JPG
Radcot Bridge
Carries A4095 road
Crosses River Thames
Locale Radcot, Oxfordshire
Maintained by Oxfordshire County Council
Design arch
Material stone
Height 11 feet 4 inches (3.45 m)
Load limit 18 tonnes (18 long tons; 20 short tons)
Opened circa 1200
Heritage status Grade I listed
Coordinates 51°41′35″N 1°35′19″W / 51.693081°N 1.588644°W / 51.693081; -1.588644Coordinates: 51°41′35″N 1°35′19″W / 51.693081°N 1.588644°W / 51.693081; -1.588644

Radcot Bridge is a crossing of the River Thames in England, south of Radcot, Oxfordshire and not far north of Faringdon, Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire). It carries the A4095 road across the river on the reach above Radcot Lock. Adjoining the bridge is the Swan Inn and slight earthworks of Matilda's Castle.

The Bridges[edit]

There are in fact three stone bridges at this point on the Thames, from south to north: Radcot Bridge, the Canal Bridge and Pidnell Bridge. Bizarrely, the first is nearest to Pidnell (a hamlet in Faringdon parish) and the last is nearest to Radcot. Whilst built on the Thames, Radcot Bridge is strictly speaking, now on a backwater, since the construction, in 1787, of a new cut for the Thames and Severn Canal. The Canal Bridge was built at the same time.

Radcot Bridge is often claimed as the "oldest bridge on the Thames", having been built, with pointed arches of Taynton stone, around 1200. The Cistercian monks of St Mary at Cîteaux in Normandy were granted land for the purpose by King John. Much of the structure was broken down during the famous battle which took place here in 1387, although it was apparently reconstructed six years later. The bridge was again severely damaged during the Wars of the Roses, and was largely rebuilt as we see it today with a flattened centre arch.

Radcot Bridge became a toll bridge and its wharf was commercially important as the highest shipping point on the Thames, with the junction of the Severn-Thames canal not far away at Lechlade (Gloucestershire).

The Thames Path crosses the bridges.

Matilda's Castle[edit]

In a programme in the Time Team series broadcast on 15 February 2009 an excavation on Matilda's Castle was reported on. This showed that the earth works dated from the Civil War when Parliamentary Forces built the earth works as a base for cannon bombarding Royalist Forces holed up in Radcot House. The earth works were found to be on top of the remains of a Norman keep dating from the time of The Anarchy. Much of the remains had been damaged by the Parliamentarians during construction of the earthworks. There were also some possible Roman remains.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Time Team Radcot page". Channel 4. Retrieved 20 February 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Next crossing upstream River Thames Next crossing downstream
Eaton Footbridge (pedestrian) Radcot Bridge Old Man's Bridge (pedestrian)
Next crossing upstream Thames Path Next crossing downstream
northern bank
Bloomers Hole Footbridge
Radcot Bridge southern bank
Tadpole Bridge