The Welsh Bridge, Shrewsbury

Image: Welch Bridge, Shrewsbury. Like the New or English Bridge, the new Welsh Bridge, which replaced the structure shown in the engraving, provided further evidence of economic growth in the town. It enabled a commercial bottleneck, close to Shrewsbury’s main port area, the Mardol, to be reduced. The bridge was designed by John Carline and John Tilley and built between 1793 and 1795.

“The old Welch bridge, represented…, was anciently regarded as the chief architectural ornament of Shrewsbury. It consisted of seven arches; its extremities were protected by fine castellated gates; and it consisted…one of the most important defences of the town….It was not long after the demolition of the fine gate at the opposite end of the bridge itself had fallen so far to decay as to render its removal necessary. On taking down the gates, the tolls, arising from the transit of marketable goods, were abolished by the payment of £6,000, raised by public subscription, to the corporation. A further sum of £8,000 was then required for the purpose of rebuilding the bridge. Another subscription produced £4,000, and the corporation advanced £4,000; and thus the new structure, which is at once convenient, substantial, and ornamental, was completed in the year 1795….The approaches from the Welch side of the Severn, in the suburb of Frankwell, are steep, narrow, dirty and irregular; evils for which a remedy will probably be found in the projected improvements. A quay, faced with stone, and occupied with warehouses, connects the bridge with the town at the end of Mardol Street.”

Harral, vol.1, p 128-130.

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