Monnow Bridge

Monmouth, United Kingdom

Monnow Bridge in Monmouth is the only remaining fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower standing on the bridge. Such bridge towers were common across Europe from medieval times, but many were destroyed due to urban expansion.

According to the local tradition, construction of Monnow Bridge began in 1272 to replace a 12th-century Norman timber bridge. Through the medieval era, the English Civil War, and the Chartist uprising, the bridge played a significant, if ineffectual, role in defending Monmouth. It also served as a gaol, a munitions store, a lodge, an advertising hoarding, a focus for celebrations and, most significantly, as a toll gate. Much of the medieval development of Monmouth was funded by the taxes and tolls the borough was entitled to raise through royal charter. The tolls were collected through control of the points of entry to the town, including the gatehouse on Monnow Bridge.

Built predominantly of Old Red Sandstone, the bridge was the subject of significant reconstruction and rebuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. In those centuries, it also became a popular subject for artists; Turner, Gastineau and Cotman produced sketches of the bridge and gate. In the 20th century, it suffered increasing damage as higher volumes of traffic and the use of ever-larger vehicles led to several serious accidents. In the 21st century, the construction of a new road crossing to the south enabled the pedestrianisation of the bridge.



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Founded: 1272
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

EmC Photography (3 months ago)
I’m giving this 5* primarily on its historic significance. Monnow Bridge in Monmouth isn't just any old bridge; it's a medieval marvel that has stood the test of time, offering a unique glimpse into the past with every step you take across it. As the last surviving fortified river bridge in Britain with its gate tower standing proudly on the bridge itself, it's like walking through a portal to the 13th century. Originally built to defend the town, Monnow Bridge has seen centuries come and go, with its stones bearing witness to countless stories. The charm of the bridge lies not just in its historical significance but also in its picturesque setting, making it a photographer's dream and a history enthusiast's delight. Strolling across this ancient structure, you can't help but feel a deep connection to the generations that have crossed it before you. The bridge isn't just a crossing point over the River Monnow; it's a monument to medieval engineering, resilience, and the rich tapestry of Welsh history.
Dom (4 months ago)
This impressive bridge and gatehouse was the thirteenth century entrance to Monnouth over the river Monnow. Now accessible by foot it offers a chance to reflect and wonder what stories it holds. Personally I remember my parents going through it by car only to be stuck in almost 2ft of water on the road the other side towards Rockfield and having to wade out and help push.
bearfamily melnyk (10 months ago)
Beautiful bridge n a nice walk up through town n nice church by the bridge too
Spark _ (2 years ago)
I loved this bridge !! I'd always wanted to visit there !! Finally I did this past summer !! YAY !! ? ? It made me feel wonder what was like to be living back in the Era ! There were many people walking around ,bicycling ,skate boarding & also kids & people were on the river banks ,too !! There was a bus stop very near by this bridge ,it took about 55 minutes to get there by bus from the city centere of Newport ! There was a Waitrose less than 5 minutes away from this bridge by walk & There was a clean toilet at the Waitrose right by the front entrance ! There are many nice cafes & restaurants & pubs close by ,too !! I really enjoyed walking around this bridge & in the beautiful town !!
STEVE G (2 years ago)
How can anyone visit without coming here first. Has to be the most iconic building on a bridge in the UK. All routes lead this way, had a few moments each way.
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