Trent Bridge (bridge)

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This article is about the river crossing in Nottingham. For the adjacent cricket ground, see Trent Bridge.
Trent Bridge (bridge)
A bridge with three arches spanning a wide river. The near bank is grass with some trees bare of leaves. On the far bank is a cityscape as far as the horizon: few building are distinguishable but in the distance there are steeples and tower blocks. The sky is blue with many white clouds.
View of Trent Bridge from the roof of County Hall, West Bridgford
Carries Road traffic (single carriageway)
Crosses River Trent
Locale Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Designer Marriott Ogle Tarbotton
Material Iron and stone
Width 40 feet (12 m)
Longest span 100 feet (30 m)
Constructed by Andrew Handyside and Company
Construction begin 1868
Construction end 1871
Toll No
Coordinates 52°56′17″N 1°08′10″W / 52.938°N 1.136°W / 52.938; -1.136Coordinates: 52°56′17″N 1°08′10″W / 52.938°N 1.136°W / 52.938; -1.136
Trent Bridge (bridge) is located in Nottinghamshire
Trent Bridge (bridge)
Red pog.svg Trent Bridge (bridge) shown within Nottinghamshire
grid reference SK581382

Trent Bridge is an iron and stone road bridge across the River Trent in Nottingham, England. It is the principal river crossing for entrance to the city from the south, although the upstream Clifton Bridge is both larger and busier.

History[edit]

Medieval bridge[edit]

The first bridge is thought to have been constructed on the site in 920. A second bridge which was started in 1156 had more than 20 stone arches and a chapel dedicated to St. James[1] at one end. It was maintained by a religious organisation. On 21 February 1551 the responsibility for repair passed to Nottingham Corporation, through a Royal Charter which created the Bridge Estate.

It was known as Hethbeth bridge, Heath-beth bridge, or Heck-beck bridge.[2]

This bridge was damaged by floods several times, and the northern half was washed away in 1683. The repaired bridge had fifteen arches across the river and flood areas, giving openings covering 347 ft in a total length of 538 ft.[3] Although it was repaired, the foundations had become unsafe and a project to replace it was started in the 1860s.

Current bridge[edit]

Old and new bridges pictured together in 1871

The bridge was designed by Marriott Ogle Tarbotton.[4] Construction started in 1868 and was completed in 1871 by Derbyshire iron maker, Andrew Handyside. The general contractor was Benton and Woodiwiss of Derby. It was completed for a cost of £30,000 (£2,437,255 as of 2014).[5]

There were three main cast iron arch spans each 100 feet (30 m) braced by wrought iron girders. The width between the parapets was 40 feet (12 m).

The new Trent Bridge formed part of a series of works along the banks of the river to improve flood defences by the construction of stepped, stone embankments.

Between 1924 and 1926 the bridge was widened to 80 ft by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company.[6]

Bridge Estate[edit]

Two arches from the old bridge are still preserved on the south bank of the river .

The Bridge Estate was created by a Royal Charter of King Edward VI on 21 February 1551 with Nottingham Corporation as Trustee. The objective was to provide funds to maintain and repair the Bridge.

In 1882 the funds exceed the requirement of the objective, and three new objectives were agreed:

  • Provide for the efficient maintenance and repair of Trent Bridge and the approaches to it.
  • To set up a contingency fund for the possible construction of such new bridge or bridges over the River Trent as may be found necessary or desirable.
  • The residue of such income is to be applied as the Trustee thinks best for the improvement of the City of Nottingham and the public benefit of its inhabitants.

In 1945 the Bridge Estate was registered as Charity 220716 with the Charity Commissioners.

Flood Marks[edit]

Trent Bridge flood marks
Another view of the Trent Bridge flood marks

On the northern abutment of the bridge, the high water marks reached by floods since 1852 have been carved into the stonework. This practice was started during the period when the Hethbeth bridge still existed, and those earlier marks were transferred onto the new bridge. To enable a comparison to be made with the peak levels, a graduated series of heights in feet above sea level has also been added.[7][8][9]

The highest flood mark is for the October 1875 flood, but the larger 1795 Candlemas flood, has been attributed with a height at the bridge of 24.55 metres (80.5 ft). Normal water level which is controlled by Holmes Sluices some 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) downstream, is 20.7 metres (68 ft).[7][8][10]

Fame and Popular Culture[edit]

The bridge is one of Nottingham's most famous landmarks and sits at the heart of Nottingham's sporting district. The bridge lends its name to the nearby Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club Trent Bridge stadium, one of Englands biggest and most famous Cricket Grounds, while Nottingham Forest FC's City Ground stadium and Notts County FC's Meadow Lane stadium are also close by. The bridge has also been used in the past as the backdrop for the regional BBC East Midlands Today and ITV Central News.

The Riverbank public house overlooks the bridge in its former tollhouse.

In December 2002 the Nottingham Princess river cruise boat crashed into the central column of the bridge when it lost control in strong currents.[10]


Next road crossing upstream River Trent Next road crossing downstream
Clifton Bridge (Nottingham)  Trent Bridge
A60 road

Grid reference: SK581382
Lady Bay Bridge
(A6011 road)
Next footbridge upstream River Trent Next footbridge downstream
Wilford Suspension Bridge  Trent Bridge
A60 road

Grid reference: SK581382
Lady Bay Bridge 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bridges, law and power in medieval England, 700-1400. Alan Cooper
  2. ^ History and antiquities of Nottingham. James Orange
  3. ^ Civil Engineering Heritage, Eastern and Central England, 1994, Edward A Labrum, ISBN 0-7277-1970-X
  4. ^ Nottingham: an illustrated history By J. V. Beckett, Ken Brand
  5. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2014), "What Were the British Earnings and Prices Then? (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  6. ^ Civil engineering heritage, eastern and central England. E. A. Labrum.
  7. ^ a b c "Nottingham Left Bank Flood Alleviation Scheme Flood Risk Assessment". broxtowe.gov.uk. 2001. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Stone, Richard (2005). River Trent. Phillimore. p. 120. ISBN 1860773567. 
  9. ^ Macdonald, Neil (2012). "Reassessing flood frequency for the River Trent through the inclusion of historical flood information since AD1320". cost-floodfreq.eu. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Report on the investigation of Nottingham Princess striking Trent Bridge Nottingham". maib.gov.uk. 2003. Retrieved 1 June 2013.