Priory Bridge (Taunton)
|Location Map ( geo)|
Lying between Taunton's Market and Somerset's County Cricket Ground, Priory Bridge is easily overlooked as you head into Taunton. It is the first bridge above the Firepool, where the River Tone and Bridgwater to Taunton Canal split, meaning that the river is considerably wider here than it is further down stream. As this section of the river was also navigable, to allow access to the old wharves in the heart of the town, the road has to climb to cross the river, high enough to allow barges to pass underneath.
The bridge itself is a three span concrete and steel girder structure, although only the central span crosses the river. The two piers sit on the concrete river banks, with the side spans over pathways which dip down under the bridge and can double as flood arches when the river is high. The bridge that stands today replaced an earlier structure on the same site, which is believed to date from 1922. The current bridge was built in the 1960s, but has only carried the A3038 since the 1970s.
|Priory Bridge (Taunton)|