Old Dee Bridge
The Old Dee Bridge, in Chester, Cheshire, England, is the oldest bridge in the city. It crosses the River Dee carrying the road which leads from the bottom of Lower Bridge Street and the Bridgegate to Handbridge. A bridge on this site was originally built by the Romans and the present bridge is largely the result of a major rebuilding in 1387. It is a Grade I listed building and a scheduled monument.

The original bridge was built by the Romans and was probably constructed of stone piers with a timber carriageway. It is likely that this structure was still present at the time of the Norman Conquest. Repairs were made to it during the next two centuries but in 1279”“80 the timber superstructure was swept away. Further repairs were carried out in the 1340s and the 1350s. In 1387 the citizens of Chester were allowed to convert the murage (the toll for repair of the town walls) for a further repair. It is likely that this work resulted in the bridge which is present today. In 1826 it was widened to provide a footway on the upstream side. Around this time it was decided that it was becoming inadequate for the expected traffic and it was decided to build an additional bridge to link the city with North Wales. This resulted in the Grosvenor Bridge, designed by Thomas Harrison and opened in 1832 (although it was not finished until the following year).

The bridge is built in local red sandstone. It has seven arches, all of which are of unequal dimensions.

Building Activity

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