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Over Bridge, Gloucester

#11 of 16 in Historic Sites in Gloucester
Bridge · Landmark
Over Bridge, also known as Telford's Bridge, is a single span stone arch bridge spanning the canalised West Channel of the River Severn near Gloucester. It links Over to Alney Island.

Although there was a crossing at Over recorded in the Domesday Book, this famous bridge was built by Thomas Telford between 1825 and 1828, to carry traffic east-west. It was opened in 1830 and remained in use for traffic until 1974. Until the Severn Bridge was built in the 1960s this was the lowest point downstream that the Severn could be crossed by road bridge.

The arch spans 150 feet (46 m), and was based on Jean-Rodolphe Perronet's 1774 design for a bridge over the River Seine at Neuilly. It combines both an elliptical profile over most of the soffit with a segmental profile at its faces. This feature is known as a corne de vache.

When built, the arch sank by 2 inches when its timber centering was removed, and another 8 inches due to settlement of the arch foundations.

Today it is a pedestrian-only bridge, and is in the guardianship of Historic England as a Scheduled Ancient Monument reference number 1015873. Road traffic on the A40 crosses the Severn on a new bridge alongside and upstream of it.

This is the last road bridge over the Severn before the Severn Crossings, and was the most downstream free crossing until the Severn Bridge and Second Severn Crossing became free in December 2018, although the Severn Bridge already had free access for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds and, as previously stated, there is no vehicular access to Over Bridge. Connected by Segregated Bicycle Paths around Alney Island, to Highnam and Gloucester.

The Over Bridge can be seen from the train travelling from Gloucester on the way to Lydney or Chepstow on the South Wales Railway.

For travelers who use our online itinerary creator, Gloucester holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Over Bridge and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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5 reviews
  • The Over bridge is more commonly called the Telford Bridge. It spans the Severn and was the main road bridge until 1974 when the new road bridge was built. From it you can see the Severn Bore...  more »
  • This is a good spot for viewing the severn bore. Standing high above the river the bore can be seen coming down and passing under the bridge. Quite often surfers can be seen as they attempt to.....  more »
  • An attractive historic road bridge over the River Severn, now closed to traffic. Popular place to view the Severn Bore. Plagued by traffic noise from the busy A40. A footpath under the A40 leads to the Over canal basin, and a pleasant short stretch (about 500 metres) of canal.
  • Great place to walk the dogs. Plenty of paths to wander along. Telford's bridge is very impressive when compared to the other bridges close by.
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