Medieval Bridges of Southern England (Hardback)
100 Bridges, 1000 Years
Throughout history rivers have been a hub for human settlement and have long been a key part of local livelihoods, history and culture, as well as still playing a present-day role in providing services and leisure to people who live around them. It is no coincidence that all four of the earliest human civilisations were formed on great rivers: the Nile, Euphrates, Indus and Yellow rivers all saw great human aggregation along them. The most ancient and vital architectural structures linked to the use of rivers are bridges.
There are a wide range of medieval bridge structures, some very simple in their construction, to amazing triumphs of design and engineering comparable with the great churches of the period. They stand today as proof of the great importance of transport networks in the Middle Ages and of the size and sophistication of the medieval economy. These bridges were built in some of the most difficult places, across broad flood plains, deep tidal waters, and steep upland valleys, and they withstood all but the most catastrophic floods. Yet their beauty, from simplistic to ornate, remains for us to appreciate.
Medieval Bridges of Southern England has been organised geographically into tours, and covers the governmental regions of Southwest England, London, and Southeast England. There are exactly 100 bridges included. There is an introduction and background information about the medieval period of English history at the beginning and there are beautiful full colour photographs throughout the book.