Godstow Bridge

This section in The Stripling Thames by Fred Thacker
1645: The previous Godstow bridge was held by the Royalists against the Roundheads.
1692: Baskervile –

Between Witam & Woolvercot is a stone bridge.  yt has two Arches through which laden boats do pass, & here by ye help of foards & other bridges both horse and foot do pass into each County viz.  Barks & Oxfordshire.

1780:  Dredge says - “the bridge over the lock cut was built”?
1790:  Sketch by Ireland showing one blocked arch and one open for navigation.
1792:  The current bridge was built when the river was being prepared for the canal traffic.  It is everything a Thames Bridge should be - old, narrow, even perverse, and utterly delightful.

Arnold: The Scholar Gypsy -

'And above Godstow Bridge, when hay-time's here
In June, and many a scythe in sunshine flames,
Men who through those wide fields of breezy grass,
Where black-winged swallows haunt the glittering Thames,
To bathe in the abandoned lasher pass,
Have often passed thee near,
Sitting upon the river bank o'ergrown:
Marked thy outlandish garb, thy figure spare,
Thy dark vague eyes, and soft abstracted air;
But, when they came from bathing, thou wert gone.'

1859: Mr & Mrs Hall –

Godstow Bridge 1859
Godstow Bridge in 1859.

1885:  Godstow Bridge North Arch, Henry Taunt -

Godstow Old Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1885
Godstow Old Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1885
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT4596

1892: Bridge rebuilt (or at least the south arch)
1892: Godstow Bridge, South Arch, Henry Taunt -

Godstow New Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1892
Godstow New Bridge, Henry Taunt, 1892
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT4595

1909: The Stripling Thames, Fred Thacker -

Godstow Bridge lies just above the ruins of the nunnery, spanning the navigation with two new brick arches, and the Trout backwater with two smaller arches of stone, the further of which is pointed and looks most ancient of all. Backwards through the bridge you get as in a frame a miniature of Christchurch spire.

1929: A Thames Survey -

Godstow Bridge carries local traffic between Wytham and Wolvercot, but under the Oxford Town Planning Scheme it will have the important function of being a link in the circumferential road by-passing Oxford on the west side of the city.
Godstow Bridge is described in the Baskervile MS. of 1692, but it had probably been in existence some time previous. It consists of two stone arches (the eastern one pointed and possibly of earlier date). The weir is under the bridge. The stone bridge over the lock cut, originally built in 1792, was rebuilt quite recently by the Thames Conservancy with two elliptical arches.
It is to be hoped that the new bridge, should one be constructed, capable of carrying an increased traffic load, will be congruous as to scale and material with the charming old seventeenth-century inn by the weir.

[ The above is what is known as a pious hope! See Thames Bridge to judge how far it was realised! ]

Godstow Bridge 2004
Godstow Bridge, in 2004.

Godstow Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005
Godstow Bridge, Doug Myers © 2005

Trout Inn and Bridge - Godstow, Ashley Bryant
Trout Inn and Bridge - Godstow, Ashley Bryant