The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Bridge of St John, Lechlade

In the civil parish of Lechlade.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU22309904
Latitude 51.68968° Longitude -1.67879°

Bridge of St John, Lechlade has been described as a probable Fortified Bridge.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


St John's Bridge was built a few years after the foundation of the Hospital of St John the Baptist (2), (AD 1228 SU 29 NW 9). Its maintenance was a charge upon the Hospital, and grants of pontage was given to the prior in 1337, 1341 and 1388 (3). The bridge was re-built circa 1831, when the medieval arches were taken down, and was altered again in 1884 (Verey and Brooks) (TBGAS 1899; Jervoise 1930; Ireland).
The present St John's Bridge has no visible medieval features (F1 DJC 05-JAN-73).
The crossing of the Thames near its confluence with the River Leach probably gave Lechlade its name, and a piece of land at the crossing was known as 'the Lade' in 1246. Saint John's bridge, built by 1228, carried the main road from mid-Gloucestershire to London. Later it comprised two large and two small arches and there was a long causeway of more than twenty arches crossing the meadows on the Buscot side of the river. A gateway to the bridge built in 1228 possibly survived as the building on it that was known as 'Noah's Ark' in 1716. The lords of the manor of Lechlade claimed the right of taking toll from barges passing beneath the bridge, but in 1791 the Upper Thames navigation commissioners by-passed it with a new cut and a lock (VCH). (PastScape)

The first record discovered was, a licence on the Charter Rolls in the 12th year of Henry the Third, permitting Peter Fitzherbert to build a gate at the foot of the Bridge. (Madden et al)

There is a grant of Free Warren to Peter son of Herbert in the Calendar of Charter Rolls (Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Charter Rolls Henry III 1226-1257 Vol. 1 (HMSO) p. 77 online copy) but no record of a charter giving licence to build a gate on the bridge, although some of the rolls of that year are damaged. There is no reason to think Madden et al were mistaken but some confirmatory evidence is required for a fortified bridge to be certainly asserted here.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact