Trinity Bridge ~ Crowland Old Triangular Bridge
A wonderful and unique medieval bridge now on dry land . . .
Crowland Bridge is old, very old. The structure below dates circa 1360 but it replaced an even earlier wooden bridge from the first millennia.
Eldred’s Charter of AD 943 mentions the bridge and interestingly also makes mention of its triangular nature, so the original wooden structure was of the same style as that seen below
It’s a strange sight sat in the Market Place of ‘Croyland’ but once it spanned the River Welland, now diverted.
It was designed for pedestrian traffic only and stands on 3 piers arranged to form a triangular shape, hence the name Trinity.
Although narrow, too narrow for carts and too steep for horses, it is fairly high in order to allow navigation of boats and barges.
There was once a large cross which stood on the highest point of the bridge, although long gone, traces of its existence still remain.
The cross, which towered over the market and town, was not merely ornamental, the bridge served a second function - that of a Preaching Station.
There is also a statue on the side of the bridge, as seen in the image above. It’s said to represent Jesus holding the world in his hand.
The statue is not original to the bridge as it once occupied a lofty position inside Crowland Abbey.
There is a story that the statue depicts Oliver Cromwell holding a Penny Loaf - that story is apocryphal according to Rev. Hubert Larken, M.A., rector of Croyland in the 1920s.
The Cromwell story sounded unlikely to me initially so I’ll happily go along with the Good Reverend
Some notable dates associated with the Bridge:
1460: King Henry VI landed there and stayed 3 days at Crowland Abbey
1468: King Edward IV set off from the bridge on a river journey to Fotheringhay Castle.
Any more information or thoughts related directly to Trinity Bridge in Crowland are most welcome