Whitney-on-Wye toll bridge

Coordinates: 52°07′12″N 3°05′02″W / 52.1201°N 3.0839°W / 52.1201; -3.0839

Whitney-on-Wye toll bridge.

Whitney-on-Wye toll bridge is a single-carriageway, wood- and stone-construction in Herefordshire, England. The toll bridge carries the B4350 south from its junction with the A438, near Whitney-on-Wye, across the River Wye. It comprises two Grade II listed structures.


Looking across the toll bridge at Whitney-on-Wye.

A bridge was first built at the site around 1780 following authorisation by Act of Parliament and with the agreement of Tomkyns Dew, the lord of the manor. The stone structure of five bays replaced a ferry that had been operated by Dew. This bridge and two successors of similar design were all destroyed by flooding on the river, the last in 1795.[1]

Another Act Of Parliament was passed in 1796, allowing the crossing to be partially rebuilt in 1797 to a different design that used stone and wood. The central three bays were at this time replaced with a wood decking and superstructure. This beam and trestle design comprising three spans is how the bridge appears today. The two outer spans are buttressed masonry archways of sandstone and ashlar; the central wooden section has two double pontoons to support it.[2][3][4]

A major program of reconstruction was undertaken in 1992-1993, costing around £300,000.[1]

Toll house

Toll house, Whitney-on-Wye.

The single-storey toll house on the northwest side of the crossing is also an 18th-century structure.[2] Constructed in part of brick and in part of timber-framed stucco scantling, it was altered and extended to the rear in the mid-20th century.[3] The toll house has a tariff board dated 1796 that lists the crossing charges that applied around that time.[5]

The bridge and toll house are both Grade II listed buildings.[2][3]


The Longfellow family of Brecon were joint funders of the 1797 reconstruction and various descendants owned the bridge until 1981, when it was bought by a couple called Bryant. It changed hands again in 1990 and, for £300,000, in 2002. The present owners purchased it for £400,000 in 2012 and announced plans to develop the facilities. It was estimated at that time that the toll income would be around £2000 per week, which is free of taxes in accordance with the Act that authorised its construction. The tolls can only be increased with government permission[6] and were last raised in 2009. Annual maintenance costs at the time of the 2012 change of ownership were estimated to be £12,000.[1][7][8]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Whitney Bridge" (PDF). Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 "List entry: Whitney Toll Bridge (that part in Whitney-on-Wye CP)". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 "List entry: Toll house on northwest side of Whitney Toll Bridge". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  4. Tilly, Graham (2002). Conservation of Bridges. CRC Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-41925-910-7.
  5. Ashley, Peter (2012). Cross Country: English Buildings and Landscape From Countryside to Coast. John Wiley & Sons. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-11997-105-4.
  6. section 6 of the Transport Charges &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1954
  7. Cooper, Rob (19 January 2012). "The £400,000 toll bridge and cottage that will earn new owners tax-free £100,000 a year — thanks to law from 1779". Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  8. "Whitney-on-Wye toll bridge gets new owners". BBC News. 16 January 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014.

External links

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