The New Bridge
New Bridge, approach from the east
In 1831 a decision was made to build a second bridge. Prior to this an extremely ramshackle wooden affair, with a draw bridge in the centre allowing masted ships to pass, was available to pedestrians, with the only route for trade, to and from the quays, being the Old Bridge which you can just see, two hundred yards up river, on your right.
It took five years to buy the buildings that had to be demolished to make the New Bridge construction possible and the bridge was completed in 1837.
William Owen, the architect and builder of many new buildings in the town during the 19th century, designed and built the bridge advancing £2,000 to a financially hard pressed Town Council for its construction. In return he was allowed the income from a toll gate on the bridge for many years.
The bridge formed part of a major remodelling of the townscape and on its completion Victoria Place and Picton Place were built on either side as elegant additions, together forming a new entrance into this medieval town.
An unforeseen hiccup to the anticipated income from the toll gate was that the populace continued to use the toll free Old Bridge rather than the beautiful new one.
At the end of the bridge, descend the steps on your left and continue for approx. three hundred yards viewing the occasional plaques as you go.