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bridges-msg - 11/13/98


Medieval bridges.


NOTE: See also the files: castles-msg, buildings-msg, cities-msg, b-battles-art, castles-lnks, travel-msg, p-tourism-art, commerce-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org




Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Stamford Bridge

Date: 1 Mar 1994 10:04:00 -0500


Pavel asked about the dimensions of Stamford Bridge.

David Smurthwaite, in _The Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain_,

mentions that the Stamford Bridge of 1066 was demolished in 1727, and a

new bridge was later built 400 yards downstream.  He gives a well-drawn

map of the area, but no dimensions of the bridge.  He does, however,

show detailed placement of the English and Viking foot and mounted

forces with arrows to show their movement.

Snorri Sturluson, in _King Harald's Saga_, tells us only that Stamford

Bridge is on the River Derwent, seven miles east of York.

David Howarth, in _1066, The Year of the Conquest_, wrote that the River

Derwent is not very big, but too big to cross by anything but a bridge.

All accounts tell of one enormous Viking who stood on the bridge and

defended it single-handed, killing about 40 Englishmen. No one could

reach him until one man found a boat, or swill-tub and drifted down

the river unseen, under the bridge, and speared him up through the

chinks in the wooden deck.  This implies that the bridge could not

have been much more than seven feet wide, the "swing of an axe."

There were no indications of the length of the bridge, or its

height in these references.  Perhaps someone else will be able to

provide better information.


Luigsech ni Ifearnain, Calanais Nuadh, Calontir



From: corliss at hal.PHysics.wayne.EDU (David J. Corliss)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Stamford Bridge

Date: 1 Mar 1994 13:48:02 -0500


Conjecture Only:


Why would any one ever build a bridge in B.F. East Riding of Yorkshire wider

than needed to get a wagon over the river? Stamford Bridge was probably about

five feet wide. This is a very adequate size for a single defender.




(Who really should know how wide the Bridge was, since he was wounded in the

battle there, but can not seem to remember. Maybe His Grace Sir Dag knows:

he was there too (on the wrong side). Anybody else?)



From: WISH at uriacc.uri.EDU (Peter Rose)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Bridges

Date: 8 Dec 1994 23:47:37 -0500


I've been doing some poking around, and, remembering someone complaining

a while back about how our 'bridge battles' weren't good reproductions

because (a) there were rarely three bridges side by each, and

        (b) our bridges are highway width, and ought to be narrower,

I decided to make a few notes, along the way.


TG15H64 "A span of bridges" LoC 79-114295 :

  Ponte d' Augusto at Narni

    Built about 220BC, reconditioned about 27BC

    500+ feet long, 110' above riverbed, 27' wide,

    4 arches, from 53 to 106' spans.  (!)


  Pons Senatorius

   ~180 BC  26' Peirs, (Thus probably something like 20' wide)


  The Bridge  at  Ceret

    (forgot to write down the estimated year of construction)

    149' span, 13' wide.  This bridge was described as remarkably

    narrow, to the point where it's structurally failing because of it.

    (The author is critical because the structure is falling apart after

     a mere 2000 years....)


NA2515 P253 "the four books of architecture" Andrea Palladio LoC 64-18862

(Palladio was born in 1508)


  Julius Caesar's bridge over the Rhine was apparently about 40' wide,


A bridge over the river Cismone, (a wooden trestle bridge, 100' span)

if drawn to scale, is about 15' wide.


A bridge over the Bassano, 180' in 5 spans.  Width 26 feet.

(This was an oak, covern bridge, with collonades on both sides.)


A bridge at Rimino, in Flaminio,        about 25' wide

A bridge at Vicenza, over Bacchiglione: about 25' wide


So anyway; after a superficial pass at the subject, it looks like

a 200' long bridge about 25' wide would be reasonable for a major bridge.





From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: London Bridge

Date: 21 Feb 1996 12:47:52 -0500

Organization: University of Toronto -- EPAS


Over on alt.folklore.urban, where I occasionally post, the topic of nursery

rhymes pops up frequently--usually people insisting that "Ring around the

rosie" refers to the plague.  (It in all likelyhood does not, and can only

be dated as far back as 1881 in any written source, while other rhymes with

documentable historic origins can be found in written sources much

further back).  London Bridge was one of those. Apparently, in the 18th/

19th century, the Bridge was indeed "falling down"-- according to M.C. Borer's

_The City of London_ (p.239), by the middle of the 18th century, most of

the houses on the bridge were delapidated, and in 1757 they were demolished.

The bridge itself was replaced in 1831;  the old bridge had lasted nearly

700 years (being finished in 1131), surviving the Great Fire in 1666.

This bridge in turn was rebuilt in 1968 (and apparently some people in

Arizona bought the old one and moved it there, thinking they were getting

the Tower Bridge, which many people think of as "London Bridge".)


Nicolaa de Bracton

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca



From: powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Sources for period bridges?

Date: 8 Sep 1997 22:37:33 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science


>I am seeking sources with pictures/drawings of small stream crossing

>bridges as would have been found in Europe from 1400 - 1600 or so.

>Does anyone know if any such sources exist?  Any architecture history

>buffs with any ideas?  I am attempting to re-create one for a garden

>styled in that period.


The Garden of Nature, Miniature from Le Livre Des Echecz Amoureux

Et Des Echecz D'Amour, 15th century, folio 198 verso MS Fr. 143

Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris


Has a bridge in a garden over a small stream: it is a large heavy plank

with a handrail.


wilelm of the eclectic bookshelf


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org