Widcombe Footbridge Flood Levels
What is it?
Widcombe footbridge is a single-span,
lattice girder construction of 1877 by T.E.M Marsh. It replaced the
double bow-string wooden arch footbridge of 1863 by Hickes and Isaac,
collapsed with eight deaths in 1877
]. Originally a toll bridge,
the toll of one half-penny per person gives rise to its common name of Ha'penny Bridge
. The bridge was
restored in 2013 - more information on this page: Widcombe Bridge Restored
Where is it in Bath?
The bridge spans the River Avon from the Widcombe bank (left) to the
rear of Bath Spa railway station (right):
The supporting buttress on the
Widcombe bank has a number of engraved flood levels:
The lowest of these is dated July 1875 and represents a height
above the current 'normal' river level of about 3 metres (9 feet). The
upper section below the footbridge contains the highest recorded level:
The highest is dated 15th November 1894 and indicates a flood level
about six meters (19 feet) above the 'normal' river level. The most
recently recorded flood is 5th December 1960.
A probable cause of these flood levels was the Old Bridge (c. 1304)
which stood downstream and restricted the flow of flood water. The
replacement of this bridge with the modern Churchill Bridge in 1964 and
the redesign of Pulteney Weir
in 1968 has led to the virtual eradication of floods.
Location map of Widcombe footbridge flood levels:
Other flood level marks are to be found in Grove Street
on on Norfolk Buildings
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