Essex Bridge, Great Haywood

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Date:1860 - 1870 (c.)

Description:There has been a bridge crossing the River Trent at Great Haywood since the sixteenth century. It was rumoured that the bridge was built by the Earl of Essex, to allow Queen Elizabeth I to visit him at Chartley Castle, without having to cross the forded river, but this is most probably romantic legend.

Originally named the Shugborough Bridge, the parapets were built low to avoid packhorse loads rubbing the stonework. The bays allowed pedestrians to stand to one side when a horse was passing.

In the eighteenth century the bridge had forty arches and extended into Shugborough Park. Today only fourteen arches remain.

This photograph is from an album of local views taken by Edward King Tenison (1805-1878), a highly regarded photographer in the early decades of photography. His family seat was at Kilronen, Roscommon, Ireland and he married Louisa Mary Anne Anson, daughter of the 1st Earl of Lichfield, also an accomplished amateur photographer. These images were probably taken during Tenison's visits to his wife's family home, Shugborough.

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Donor ref:FP81.022.0042 (17/22546)

Source: Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service

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