Clopton Bridge and Toll House
At the crossing of the Avon in Stratford there is a medieval bridge, now a scheduled Ancient Monument, and a unique ten-sided toll house. Both are listed Grade I.
Period of construction:
1000 - 1599
Transport Trust plaque:
Clopton Bridge, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YY
Stratford upon Avon
Clopton Bridge is located in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is a masonry arch bridge with 14 pointed spans over the River Avon, crossing at the place where the river was forded in Saxon times, and which gave the town its name. The bridge carries the A3400 road over the river.
Clopton bridge was built in 1480, financed by Hugh Clopton of Clopton House, who later became Lord Mayor of London. It replaced a timber bridge which may have dated back to 1318. Two arches were rebuilt in 1524.
The bridge was again repaired in 1588 following flooding, and in 1642 after an arch had been destroyed to block the army of Oliver Cromwell. In 1696, money was raised to heighten the parapets, which were as low as four inches in places. The bridge was widened on the north side (upstream) in 1811.
A cast iron footbridge was added to the north side in 1827.
In 1812 the possibility was considered of installing a Toll Gate across Clopton Bridge to raise revenue and in 1813 the right to run the Toll Gate was auctioned. The highest bidder, a Thomas Keen, won the right by a very high bid of Â£535.0s.0d.Â In 1814 a ten sided Toll House was built with oak boards, 4 grates, a meat safe and a deal cupboard with 5 shelves.
Toll Charges were:
Coach drawn by 6 horses 1s6d
Coach drawn by 4 horses 1s0d
Coach drawn by 2 horses 0s 6d
Coach drawn by 1 horse 0s 3d
Wagons 1s 0d
Cart drawn by 3 horses or beasts 0s 9d
Cart drawn by less than 3 beasts 0s 6d
Horse and rider 0s 1d
Oxen / cattle 0s 3d per score
Calves / swine / sheep 0s 5d per score
In 1812 Mr Hopcroft, the Tollgate keeper, was ordered to produce a list of persons convicted under the â€˜Bridge Act' each quarter. If a person was convicted of ' unlawfully or maliciously burn, blow up or pull down or destroy the said bridge' transportation for life. Damage to the Toll House would attract a fine not exceeding Â£10.00 with costs
By 1820 the Toll House had fallen into disrepair and in 1839 due to loss of traffic the levying of tolls came to an end. James Cox moved his timber Yard business to Avon Warf from another part of the town and rented the Toll House at Â£7.00 per annum later reduced to Â£5.00 per annum.
Richards, J.M., The National Trust Book of Bridges, Jonathan Cape, 1984, ISBN 0-224-02106-0
Sheldon, G. From Trackway to Turnpike. Oxfd. Univ. Press. (1928)
Visible at all times.
How To Find:
By road: Clopton Bridge carries the A3400 across the Avon in Stratford. The toll house is on the north side of the river.
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