Record Details

NHER Number:874
Type of record:Monument
Name:Norwich Castle Bridge

Summary

Norwich Castle Bridge dates to around 1095-1110 and was repaired in 1170. Much of its original fabric survives under a veneer of 19th century work. Medieval features include the stone bridge abutments, both external arches, dressed stone facings, remnants of an early road surface and a drawbridge pit. Archaeological observations in 1993 revealed that timbers would originally have spanned the void between the arches and in 1994 holes dug at the castle end of the bridge revealed underlying vaults made from flint and mortar. In 1999-2000 a new paving scheme was proposed for the bridge and this constitutes the most recent renovation activity to have been put forward.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 2318 0845
Map Sheet:TG20NW
Parish:NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK

Full description

1989-1991. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of three trial holes inserted around southern pier of the bridge as part of Castle Mall development (T52, T54 and T60).
These keyhole excavations raised the possibility that the bridge was early medieval in date and not, as previously suspecte, a post-medieval rebuilt - something which was confirmed by subsequent fieldwork.
See notes (S8) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 9 October 2017.

March-April 1992. Trial Trenching
Excavation for Norwich City Council Engineers to ascertain structural integrity of bridge.
Three trial trenches dug.
Early medieval structure with post medieval alterations and refacing/ replacement of internal arch in 1830.
See report (S1) and published article (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
A. Shelley (NAU) 27 May 1992. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 10 March 2017.

November 1993. Watching Brief.
Monitoring of trial trench excavated in order to locate source of water leak.
Little archaeology was disturbed during this work, the bulk of the material removed being the backfill of various previous episodes of ground disturbance. It did however confirm the existence of a medieval external arch on the western face of the bridge.
See short report (S9) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 9 October 2017.

December 1993. Watching Brief.
Observation of trench dug to find a water leak.
This work exposed a section of the internal face of the eastern arch and confirmed that the original bridge existed as two masonry arches with a timber surface covering the void between.
See report (S4) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S5).
K. Forrest (NAU) 1993. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 10 March 2017.

January-February 1994. Trial Trenching.
Trial holes excavated by NAU at castle end of bridge revealed structures of the underlying castle vaults.
See report (S6) and published article (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S7).
E. Rose (NLA) 17 February 1994. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 10 March 2017.

Main reference is (S2) which gives details of bridge and excavations including finds of medieval pottery within structure.
E. Rose (NLA) 24 October 1997.

1999-2000. New paving scheme.
See papers in file.
D. Gurney (NLA) 23 January 2001.

Monument Types

  • BRIDGE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRIDGE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HEARTH (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRICK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CLAY PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Illustration: Forrest, K.. 1992. Bridge elevation and sections.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
<S1>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 1992. Report of Excavations at the Castle Bridge, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 70.
<S2>Article in Serial: Shelley, A. 1996. Norwich Castle Bridge. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XL pp 217-225.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1993. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1992. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLI Pt IV pp 522-532. p 528.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Forrest, K. 1993. Watching Brief Report. Norwich Castle Bridge. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 77.
<S5>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1994. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1993. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt I pp 115-123. p 119.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 1994. Watching brief report on Norwich City Council works, 31 Jan to 2 Feb 1994. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.
<S7>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1995. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1994. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt II pp 230-239. p 235.
<S8>Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. 1994. The Castle Bridge, Norwich.
<S9>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shelley, A. 1993. Castle Bridge, Norwich. Anglian Water trial trench, 21 November 1993. Watching brief report. Norfolk Archaeological Unit.

Related records

26001Parent of: Bridge over Castle Moat and entrance lodges (Building)
Site 838Parent of: Castle Bridge (Monument)
Mon 567Parent of: Castle Bridge (Monument)
Site 3828Parent of: Castle Mall Trial Trench 103 - Castle Bridge (Monument)
Site 3809Parent of: Castle Mall Trial Trench 52 - Castle Gardens-Footings for Bridge (Monument)
Site 3817Parent of: Castle Mall Trial Trench 60 - Castle Gardens (Monument)
Mon 539Parent of: Castle Motte Ditch (Ditch 10) (Monument)
Mon 1577Parent of: Gate 2 (Castle Mall) (Monument)
Mon 1487Parent of: 'Hollow 2' (Castle Mall) (Monument)
Site 1748Parent of: Norwich Castle Bridge (Monument)
243Parent of: Undated human remains from Norwich Castle Bridge, Castle Mound (Find Spot)
429Part of: Norwich Castle, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery (Monument)

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