Prince Street Bridge

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Prince Street Bridge
Bridge Swing! (geograph 2460172).jpg
The bridge swinging with the pumping house and accumulator tower in the background
Coordinates51°26′55″N 2°35′48″W / 51.4487°N 2.5968°W / 51.4487; -2.5968Coordinates: 51°26′55″N 2°35′48″W / 51.4487°N 2.5968°W / 51.4487; -2.5968
CrossesBristol Harbour
OwnerBristol City Council
Heritage statusGrade II listed building
Trough constructionRiveted steel plates
Construction end1879

Prince Street Bridge is a swing bridge across Bristol Harbour. It is now Grade II listed.[1] The bridge carries a road from Prince Street to Wapping Road and is located between the Arnolfini art centre and M Shed museum.

The iron swing bridge was built in 1879 on the site of the ancient Gib ferry owned by the Dean and Chapter of Bristol Cathedral. It replaced a previous bridge built in 1809.[2][3] In the 19th century tolls were charged for traffic over the bridge,[4] with the toll house being burnt during the Bristol Riots of 1831.[5][6][7]

The swing bridge is operated by water hydraulic power provided by the adjacent engine house and accumulator tower.[8]

Repair work led to the closure of the bridge between 2015 and 2017. Fewer than 2,000 motor vehicle movements now cross the bridge per day using one side, whilst over 24,000 pedestrians and cyclists use the other.[9] This has led pressure groups to call for the bridge to be closed to cars permanently.[10]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Prince Street Bridge (1209521)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Application for Listed Building Consent in Relation to Prince Street Bridge, Bristol" (PDF). Bristol City Council. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  3. ^ Historic England. "Prince Street Bridge (1008187)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  4. ^ Large, David (1984). The Port of Bristol, 1848–1884. Bristol Record Society. pp. 93–94.
  5. ^ "Bristol Riots: Burning Toll House on Prince Street Bridge". Art UK. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  6. ^ Nicholls, J. F.; Taylor, John. "The 1831 Uprising – Part 2: The Uprising". Bristol Radical History Group. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Riots at Bristol". Spectator. 5 November 1831. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Prince Street Bridge Engine House and Accumulator Tower (1202454)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Why do a few cars get half the space on Prince St Bridge". Bristol Cycling Campaign. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  10. ^ Onions, Ian (5 September 2015). "Pressure groups call for permanent closure of Prince Street Bridge". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2016.

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