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Mythe Bridge

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Title: Mythe Bridge  
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Subject: River Severn, Tewkesbury, Grade II* listed buildings in Gloucestershire, William Hazledine, Aust Severn Powerline Crossing
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Mythe Bridge

Drawing from Transactions of the I.C.E. 1838

Mythe Bridge carries the A438 road across the River Severn at Tewkesbury. It is a cast iron arch bridge spanning 170 feet (52m) and 24 feet (7.3m) wide, designed by Thomas Telford and completed in April 1826.

Telford was appointed to design the bridge in 1823, following a dispute between the bridge trustees and their existing architect, who had proposed a bridge with three shorter iron arches. Telford changed the scheme to a single span so as to reduce interference with navigation of the river, and also to eliminate the expense of constructing foundations in the river gravels.

The Mythe Bridge

Like Telford's Craigellachie Bridge, Mythe Bridge was cast by William Hazledine, and is similar in form to Telford's Galton Bridge, which spans the Birmingham Canal at Smethwick. It has six cast iron ribs, each cast in 23-foot (7m) lengths, with spandrels filled with X-shaped bracing. Telford described the iron as "best Shropshire iron, commonly called No. 2"'. The arch rises 17 feet (5.2m), one tenth of the span.

The total cost of the bridge including masonry approaches was £14,500, It was originally a toll bridge, but tolls were removed in 1850.

Telford wrote:

I reckon this the most handsomest bridge which has been built under my direction ...

In 1990 traffic was limited to 7.5 tons, increased to 17 tons after the bridge was strengthened in 1992.

See also


  • Cragg, R., Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales & West Central England, Thomas Telford Publishing, 2nd edn., 1997
  • McKenzie, W., Account of the Bridge over the Severn, near the Town of Tewkesbury, in the County of Gloucester, designed by Thomas Telford, and erected under his superintendence, Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1838
  • Witts, C., A Century of Bridges, River Severn Publications, 2nd edn., 1998

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