Atcham Bridge, Shropshire

Image: Atcham Bridge, Shropshire. Another important design by John Gwynn, Atcham Bridge was not only a distinguished crossing of the Severn, but another route assisting the expansion of the Shropshire economy.

“The first place which the Severn reaches, after leaving Shrewsbury, is the pleasant village of Uffington, on its left or north-eastern bank. The river, here, is very shallow: in dry seasons it is sometimes not more than a foot in depth.

At Preston Boats, about a mile and a half below Uffington, a stratum of coal crosses the river. In different parts of the stream, during the summer months, the fishermen obtain large quantities of coal…which proves very serviceable to the malsters and brickmakers of the neighbourhood. The mode of procuring this coal is by raising the bed of the river; an object which is effected by means of a stout iron hoop, fixed at the end of a pole, with a small net appended. From the material thus raised, the sand I rushed away, and the net retains nothing but coal, in pieces chiefly of the size of small pebbles.

Atcham Bridge on the London road, crosses the Severn at the distance of four miles south-east of Shrewsbury. The old bridge thus mentioned was erected in the reign of Edward VI at the sole expense of Sir Rowland Hill…. Close to where the old bridge stood is the present structure; a plain neat bridge of stone, consisting of seven arches, and completed in the year 1776, from a design by Mr Gwyn (sic).”

Harral, vol.1, p 194 -199.

Image creators: Image from Thomas Harral, Picturesque Views of the Severn, 1824. 
Image courtesy of: Shropshire Records and Research

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1532-0A Journey down the Severn from Thomas Harral’s Picturesque Views of the River (1824) 562-0Introduction: the Severn Waterway 517-0Poetry and Visions of the River Severn 514-0The Severn and its Origins in Wales 516-0Newtown to Montgomery 518-0Powis Castle to Welshpool 519-0Welshpool to Shrewsbury 520-0Shrewsbury 521-0The English Bridge, Shrewsbury 522-0The Welsh Bridge, Shrewsbury 524-0Atcham Bridge, Shropshire 525-0The Wrekin 526-0Buildwas Bridge and the Severn Earthquake of 1773 529-0Coalbrookdale and the Ironbridge 530-0Madeley, Broseley and Lilleshall 535-0Bridgnorth 536-0Bridgnorth’s Economy 537-0Bridgnorth Castle 538-0Quatford and the nearby Landscape 539-0Bewdley 540-0The Wyre Forest 542-0Stourport 543-0Stourport Bridge 545-0Worcester 546-0Worcester to Upton-on-Severn 547-0Tewkesbury 550-0Gloucester 551-0Gloucester’s Economy and the Severn Trade