This bridge has sometimes been called 'Grandpont Bridge'. I do not know if this has ever been
its official name. But it seems to me an inappropriate misnomer.
'Grandpont' was the old name for what is now 'Folly Bridge'.
That was the 'Great Bridge'. No lesser bridge should assume the name.
'Grandpont' means 'Great Bridge' so 'Grandpont Bridge' is saying 'Great Bridge Bridge'
'Grandpont' was a tithing in St. Aldate's parish, part of Berkshire in 1831, but was transferred by an order of the Local Government Board in 1889 to Oxfordshire.
'Grandpont' is now the name of an area centering on Grandpont House.
To confuse matters the old gasworks railway bridge which has been converted into a footbridge has also sometimes been called 'Grandpont' on the grounds that it leads to the 'Grandpont Nature Reserve'.
For these reasons I decline to call these girders 'Grandpont'. Tell me if I'm wrong.
1909: The Stripling Thames, Fred Thacker -
As you voyage upstream all the RIGHT bank, from Folly Bridge to Medley Weir,
is stately in the imagination with the ghostly towers of departed monasticism.
The Dominicans, first in place, but second in time, possessed a settlement that descended to the RIGHT bank of the River immediately above the bridge, often flooded when the Thames was high.
They came into Oxford in 1221; and their pioneers were presented with their first site in the Jewry, where the municipal buildings now stand at the south-eastern corner of Carfax.
This soon proving too cramped the brethren moved about forty years later to this island (as it was then, and still is, though not very obviously), which Henry III granted them; and there continued until the Suppression, leaving not much mark, I think, upon Oxford except place names, the Blackfriars Road and the Preachers' Pool, the wide water just as you approach the gasworks bridge, where the southwest corner of their holding lay. They went the way of the rest, liked though they were by the people for their preaching.
It may be there is a sense of something lost and now lacking - but Oxford ignores
this part of the river. We pass the not unattractive buildings that have
been built too close to the river - and with their backs to it - and
with no attempt at consistency. The river should be a green park through the city
with attractive walks on both sides.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes would find the setting attractive and would be a self financing asset to the area. A necessary footbridge is a chance for some stylish architecture ... !
Date? I was told 1886 - but - in the sequence of maps on old-maps this footbridge does not appear in 1900, or 1914-22, or 1938-44; but it does appear in 1939 and onwards. So on the basis of that I assume 1938 (ish).
Does anybody actually know?
2005: Oxford Footbridge, Doug Myers