Over Bridge

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Over Bridge
Telford's Over Bridge-geograph-5905346-by-Martin-Richard-Phelan.jpg
CoordinatesCoordinates: 51°52′28″N 2°16′5″W / 51.87444°N 2.26806°W / 51.87444; -2.26806
CrossesWest Channel of the River Severn near Gloucester
LocaleGloucester, England
Heritage statusScheduled Ancient Monument
Total length150 feet (46 m)
No. of spanssingle arch
DesignerThomas Telford
Construction start1825
Construction end1828

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.

Wooden centring used during its construction

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.

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 was the most downstream free crossing until tolls were removed from the Severn Bridge and Second Severn Crossing in December 2018, although the Severn Bridge already had free access for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds and, as previously stated, there is no vehicular access to Over Bridge. The bridge is connected by segregated bicycle paths around Alney Island, to Highnam and Gloucester.

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History and research: Over Bridge". English Heritage. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  2. ^ Historic England (24 October 1997). "OVER BRIDGE (983753)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Over Bridge (1015873)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  • 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[edit]