Monument details

HER Number:11103
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Old Dee Bridge


A bridge over the River Dee has been recorded in approximately this position since the Roman times, the present bridge is originally late 14th century but with significant alteration in 1826. It is of red sandstone with seven arches. The bridge was widened, upstream, in 1826, to provide a footway, partly corbelled. Timber continued to be used for drawbridge across southern span well into reign of Elizabeth I, later rebuilt in brick of a 17th century date

A bridge is mentioned in Domesday in 1086 when it was recorded that one man from each hide of the county could be summoned to repair it. In the 13th century maintenance of the bridge was important since the area south of the river was an assembly point for many Welsh campaigns. The early medieval bridge was of wood and had been destroyed by floods in 1227, 1297 and 1353. Until the 14th century traffic over the bridge was confined to pedestrians and animals with iron shod wheeled vehicles crossing via ferry or fords.

The Earl of Chester had to provide timber for repairs & when stone was used, he obtained this at his expense from a local quarry on the south side of bridge. Agreement in 1288 between county & city decided that city was to repair & maintain that part of bridge nearest to 'vil' of Newbolt (S side of river) with 8ft of compressed earth & stonework & 49ft of timberwork. County was responsible for rest of bridge. From 1351 pontage tolls were introduced for the maintenance of the bridge although the city was still required to repair their part of its. In 1387 the bridge collapsed and Richard II gave the profits of both the ferry & murage taken for the walls towards the repair of bridge. Half the murage of 1407 was used to complete bridge tower & the murage of 1409 was for repair of walls, bridges & gates of city.


Monument Types

  • BRIDGE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROAD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD?)
  • ROAD (AD 18TH CENTURY - 1700 AD to 1799 AD?)
Protected Status:Area of Archaeological Importance: Chester & Boughton Area of Archaeological Importance; Listed Building (I) 1375850: OLD DEE BRIDGE; Conservation Area (Active) 083: City Centre (Chester) Conservation Area; Scheduled Monument 1006771: Dee Bridge

Related records

9055Part of: Dee Bridge, Saxon Period (Monument)
8615Part of: Roman Bridge - Old Dee Bridge (Monument)

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
Heritage Lottery Fund