Sunday, 23 June 2019

Lady's Bridge, Sheffield


Lady's Bridge is the oldest bridge across the River Don in the City of SheffieldEngland. It is located in the central section of the city, linking the Wicker to the north with Waingate to the south.

The original wooden bridge at this point was constructed close to Sheffield Castle sometime after 1150 under the orders of William de Lovetot, the Norman baron who had also built the castle along with the town's first church, hospital (at Spital Hill), and corn mill (at Millsands).

In 1485 the Vicar of Sheffield, Sir John Plesaunce, and William Hill, who was a master mason, both agreed to build a bridge of stone "over the watyr of Dune neghe the castell of Sheffeld" at a cost of about £67. The bridge had five arches, and was 14.5 feet (4.4 m) wide. A small chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built close to the bridge, and the bridge became known as 'Our Lady's Bridge'. When built it could only be crossed by pedestrians as there were steps at either end of the bridge. The chapel was converted for use as a wool warehouse in 1547, to prevent its demolition as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, and was subsequently used as an Alms house.

In 1760 the bridge was widened on the upstream side, and the Alms House (formerly the chapel to Our Lady) were demolished to make way for the new structure. The bridge was widened on the downstream side in 1864, virtually obscuring the remaining original structure from view, and again in 1909, to allow trams to cross the bridge. It was restored in the late 20th century, and has been a Grade II listed structure since 1973.


Esoteric Eric

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