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Chester Dee Bridge

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Chester.
In the historic county of Cheshire.
Modern Authority of Cheshire.
1974 county of Cheshire.
Medieval County of Cheshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ40706576
Latitude 53.18523° Longitude -2.88844°

Chester Dee Bridge has been described as a certain Fortified Bridge.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Road bridge over River Dee. Late C14, altered 1826. Red sandstone. 7 arches, from north to south: a pair of segmental arches north of diagonal weir; serving leat to former Mills of Dee then by hydro-electric power station; cutwater at weir, then plain abutment to first, parabolic, river arch; cutwater; pointed arch with moulded arris; cutwater; narrower arch with moulded arris; cutwater; broad segmental arch with moulded arris; bottom stage forming rectangular projection upstream for former gate-tower; large cutwater; narrow segmental arch probably in place of former drawbridge. The bridge was widened, upstream, in 1826, to provide a footway, partly corbelled. The present bridge replaced earlier medieval bridges, probably of timber, and is believed to stand on the site of a Roman bridge. (Listed Building Report)

The Old Dee Bridge was originally the only crossing over the Dee at Chester. The present bridge is thought to have been built from 1387. It comprises seven masonry arches of varying size. There was a gatehouse on the southernmost pier possibly with a drawbridge. The southernmost arch was rebuilt in 1499-1500 perhaps replacing the drawbridge. The gatehouse was demolished in 1781.
Trial pits were excavated over the crowns of arches 3 to 7 revealing an interesting variation in deposits under the base of the modern carriageway. In arch 5, there was a substantial surface of river cobbles. It is tempting to consider this cobble surface as the original medieval road over the bridge. It is curious that whatever its date and even though it is the central arch, this surface must have lain lower than the roadway over the adjacent arches. (Med. Arch. 2000)

25th July 11 Richard II 1387
Letters Patent by the King granting his profits from the Passage of the River Dee and the Murage, formerly granted for the City walls, to be received for the repair of the ruined bridge over the river.
Given at Chester Castle.
Appended is the seal of the King's Chester Exchequer.
Murage was a toll granted by the Earls of Chester to be levied on certain goods entering the city to be used for the repair of the walls and streets (City of Chester Charters ZCH/20)
5th March 8 Henry IV 1407
Letters Patent by Henry, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, granting the expenditure of the Murage to be received for the next five years to be spent one half on the walls and one half on the completion of the tower on the Dee Bridge which was begun in the time of Richard II.
Given at Chester.
Fragment of the Prince's seal of the Chester Exchequer remains attached, Cast of reverse (City of Chester Charters ZCH/25)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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