Record Details

NHER Number:62
Type of record:Building
Name:Fyebridge, Fyebridge Street


The first reference to a bridge on this site is in AD 1141, however building work in 1896 recorded evidence of a Late Saxon timber causeway beneath the current building, extending north to Fishergate and south to Elm Hill. The ground here was a peaty bog and gravel, and it appears that during this period the roadway leading to the causeway was planked.

The bridge remained timber during the medieval period, until it was rebuilt in stone during the reign of Henry IV. It was rebuilt again in 1573 in stone, and in 1829 a new cast iron bridge was built by Francis Stone. The bridge was widened in 1921 and the current structure is the result of a rebuild in 1933 along the lines of the original medieval bridge. The west side of the bridge had a fortified gate until 1791, and Fyebridge is likely to be the oldest surviving bridge site in the city.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 23232 08990
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description


During the course of building work F. R. Beechens and A. S. King recorded details of a timber causeway beneath Fyebridge and extending north to Fishergate and south to Elm Hill. The piles were of oak. They cut through around 5ft (1.5m) of peaty bog and then around 18ft to 20ft (5.5m - 6.1m) into gravel. Planks, not found in situ, suggest that the roadway was planked. First reference to a bridge is AD 1141 - 1149. The originally timber bridge was rebuilt in stone during the reign of Henry IV. Again rebuilt in 1573 in stone. In 1829 new cast iron bridge built.
Sixty-three sherds of Late Saxon pottery were recovered; also a fragment of an oak pile during salvation excavation. [1]
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Bridge rebuilt 1933, brick and stone.
See details in file.

Monument Types

  • CAUSEWAY (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • PILE (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BRIDGE (12th Century to 21st Century - 1141 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • AXEHEAD (Undated)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Hudson, W. 1895. Notes about Norwich before the close of the Thirteenth Century. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XII pp 25-84. pp 31, 42, 45.
---Monograph: 1901. The Victoria History of Norfolk. The Victoria History of the Counties of England. Vol 1. pp 319-20.
---Article in Serial: Jope, E. M. 1952. Excavations in the City of Norwich, 1948. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXX pp 287-323. pp 287, 306, 314, 318.
---Article in Serial: Whittingham, A. B. 1951. Report of the Summer Meeting of the Institute at Norwich, 1949. Part II. Norwich: Origins, Castle, and Public and Domestic Buildings and Antiquities: The Origins of Norwich. The Archaeological Journal. Vol CVI pp 74-75. p 74.
---Monograph: Jennings, S. 1981. Eighteen Centuries of Pottery from Norwich. East Anglian Archaeology. No 13. p 247.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 20 NW 97 [2].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. and Wilson, B. 1997. Norfolk 1: Norwich and North-East. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 279.
---Article in Serial: Hudson, W. 1898. On an Ancient Timber Roadway across the River Wensum at Fye Bridge, Norwich. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XIII pp 217-232.
---Unpublished Document: [Unknown]. [unknown]. Reg's Potted History of Kett's Heights.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Shedding light on the mystery of Fye Bridge. 14 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. The vanishing colours of our 'Rainbow Alley'. 22 September.
---Publication: Rye, W. 1916. Norwich Houses Before 1600. p 39.
---Record Card: NCM Staff. 1973-1989. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card - Norwich.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.

Related records

Mon 1073Parent of: Fye Bridge Street (Monument)
Mon 863Parent of: Fyebridge (Monument)
Mon 864Parent of: Fyebridge (Monument)
Mon 865Parent of: Fyebridge (Monument)
Site 1534Parent of: Fyebridge, Fyebridge Street (Monument)
171Parent of: Late Saxon causeway, medieval Inn, No 22 Wensum Street (Monument)
26391Parent of: Medieval lead pilgrim sign (Find Spot)
Mon 1227Parent of: River Wensum (Monument)
Site 1127Parent of: River Wensum, near Fybridge (Monument)
Site 725Parent of: River Wensum, near Fyebridge (Monument)
435Parent of: Undated iron axehead, 17th century vessels, from river (Find Spot)
Mon 1329Parent of: Wensum Street (Vicus Cocorum) (Monument)

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