Roman Bridges

  • 16 Feb 2023
  • Bridges and Ferries
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There was considerable iron-smelting at Worcester in Roman times, and it is most probable that a bridge existed across the River Severn to enable fuel and iron-cre from the western bank to reach the bloomery hearths on the east side. When the rail bridge at Worcester was being built in 1860, great stumps of ancient timbers were taken from the bed of the river. They could have been the remains of a medieval bridge, but in the present writer's opinion, they were found  too far upstream from the medieval walls and fortification's, and at a place traditionally known as Cinder Point, where great quantities of Roman bloomery slag and cinder was found. 

At Droitwich, Roman occupation and salt workings would certainly have needed a bridge over the River Salwarpe, and it would probably have been on the line of the Roman road (the present A38) on the site of Chapel Bridge.

During the dredging of the Severn in 1844, at the Powick side opposite Kempsey, ancient oak piles and planking was found. It is known from a Roman milestone and memorial inscriptions found in the earthworks on which stands Kempsey Church, that some part of the Second Legion, the Augusta, was stationed there between 308 and 337 AD. The oak piles and planking was without doubt part of a bridge, and Roman, for there would have been no need for a bridge in medieval times.