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Medieval Bridges of Southern England: 100 Bridges, 1000 Years

Author/EditorHall, Marshall G. (Author)
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 9781914427138
Pub Date15/08/2022
BindingHardback
Pages320
Dimensions (mm)216(h) * 280(w)
Organised into a series of short tours, this book describes and discusses the history of a selection of the best surviving medieval river bridges in southern England, complete with superb colour photographs.
€47.27
excluding shipping
Availability: Available to order but not yet published
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Throughout history rivers have been a hub for human settlement and have long been a key part of local livelihoods, history and culture, as well as still playing a present-day role in providing services and leisure to people who live around them. It is no coincidence that all four of the earliest human civilisations were formed on great rivers: the Nile, Euphrates, Indus and Yellow rivers all saw great human aggregation along them. The most ancient and vital architectural structures linked to the use of rivers are bridges.

There are a wide range of medieval bridge structures, some very simple in their construction, to amazing triumphs of design and engineering comparable with the great churches of the period. They stand today as proof of the great importance of transport networks in the Middle Ages and of the size and sophistication of the medieval economy. These bridges were built in some of the most difficult places, across broad flood plains, deep tidal waters, and steep upland valleys, and they withstood all but the most catastrophic floods. Yet their beauty, from simplistic to ornate, remains for us to appreciate.

Medieval Bridges of Southern England has been organised geographically into tours, and covers the governmental regions of Southwest England, London, and Southeast England. There are exactly 100 bridges included. There is an introduction and background information about the medieval period of English history at the beginning and there are beautiful full colour photographs throughout the book.

Throughout history rivers have been a hub for human settlement and have long been a key part of local livelihoods, history and culture, as well as still playing a present-day role in providing services and leisure to people who live around them. It is no coincidence that all four of the earliest human civilisations were formed on great rivers: the Nile, Euphrates, Indus and Yellow rivers all saw great human aggregation along them. The most ancient and vital architectural structures linked to the use of rivers are bridges.

There are a wide range of medieval bridge structures, some very simple in their construction, to amazing triumphs of design and engineering comparable with the great churches of the period. They stand today as proof of the great importance of transport networks in the Middle Ages and of the size and sophistication of the medieval economy. These bridges were built in some of the most difficult places, across broad flood plains, deep tidal waters, and steep upland valleys, and they withstood all but the most catastrophic floods. Yet their beauty, from simplistic to ornate, remains for us to appreciate.

Medieval Bridges of Southern England has been organised geographically into tours, and covers the governmental regions of Southwest England, London, and Southeast England. There are exactly 100 bridges included. There is an introduction and background information about the medieval period of English history at the beginning and there are beautiful full colour photographs throughout the book.

Marshall G. Hall is a retired UK university professor of Socio-anthropology who has held a lifelong interest in travel, architecture, linguistics and adventure. Having written for academia for years, today Marshall writes, teaches the occasional university class as a guest lecturer and does public speaking. He has just finished a local interest book called Historic Bridges of Buckinghamshire.

Foreword Introduction Defining Medieval Medieval Period Overview Criteria for Inclusion Medieval Timeline Chronology and Dating Bridges and Medieval Road Networks Basic Components of a Medieval Bridge Medieval Bridges and the Church The Economics of Medieval Bridges Medieval Bridge Types Medieval Bridge Builders Islands in the Stream Cutwaters Longevity List of Medieval Bridges in Southern England by Region and County Listed Bridges and Structures National Grid Reference Numbers The Bridge Tours The Star Rating System BUCKINGHAMSHIRE & NORTH OXFORDSHIRE TOUR NORTHEAST CORNWALL TOUR CENTRAL CORNWALL NORTH TOUR CENTRAL CORNWALL SOUTH TOUR NORTH DEVON TOUR SOUTHEAST DEVON TOUR SOUTHWEST DEVON TOUR EAST DEVON TOUR NORTH DORSET TOUR SOUTHEAST DORSET TOUR GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE KENT TOUR LONDON TOUR EAST OXFORDSHIRE TOUR WEST OXFORDSHIRE & KEBLE'S BRIDGE TOUR EAST SOMERSET TOUR CENTRAL SOMERSET TOUR WEST SOMERSET TOUR SURREY TOUR TITCHFIELD & WEST SUSSEX TOUR NORTH WILTSHIRE & IFORD TOUR SOUTH WILTSHIRE & FORDINGBRIDGE TOUR A Glossary for Medieval Bridges Bridge Index Acknowledgements Bibliography

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