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Oxford Hythe Bridge

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
High Bridge

In the civil parish of Oxford.
In the historic county of Oxfordshire.
Modern Authority of Oxfordshire.
1974 county of Oxfordshire.
Medieval County of Oxfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP50830634
Latitude 51.75348° Longitude -1.26501°

Oxford Hythe Bridge has been described as a Fortified Bridge although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


Hythe Bridge. Carried a road from the town's north gate to the western suburbs across a branch of the Thames running to Castle Mill. The name "hythe" refers to a wharf built there. The first timber bridge was built by Oseney Abbey between 1200 and 1310; it was rebuilt in stone 1373-1403 and was replaced by the present iron bridge in 1861. (Steane 1997)

Hythe, also called High, Bridge carried a road from the town's north gate to the western suburbs across a branch of the Thames running to Castle mill; its name denotes a wharf there. The first known bridge, probably of wood, was built by Oseney abbey between 1200 and 1210, and was rebuilt in stone, with three arches, between 1373 and 1403. In 1861 it was replaced by the present iron bridge, designed by a local engineer, John Galpin. A few yards to the west lay Little Hythe or Quakes Bridge, which in 1616 contained two arches. Presumably it was built at the same time as Hythe Bridge; it was intended to rebuild it in 1861, but the work may not have been completed until 1874. (VCH)

The bridge is shown on Aga's map of Oxford from 1578 and Loggan's bird's eye view of 1675 and nothing in either illustration suggests this bridge was fortified or even gated. A couple of C19 engravings of the late C14 stone bridge also do not show anything suggestive of fortification. There were several other small bridges on this side of Oxford, some of medieval date, none of which was fortified. These all lead to Oseney Bridge at SP503062 which, by analogue with the series of bridges that made up Grandpont to the south of Oxford might be a more likely place for a fortification although none is recorded there and none is suggested.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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