Trinity Bridge, Crowland

Trinity Bridge is a unique three-way stone arch bridge that stands at the heart of Crowland, Lincolnshire, England.[1] While it once spanned the confluence of the River Welland and a tributary, the rivers have been re-routed, and it now spans nothing significant.

Trinity Bridge
Trinity Bridge (Crowland).JPG
The triangular Trinity Bridge stands on dry land
Coordinates52°40′33″N 0°10′06″W / 52.6757°N 0.168281°W / 52.6757; -0.168281 (Trinity Bridge)Coordinates: 52°40′33″N 0°10′06″W / 52.6757°N 0.168281°W / 52.6757; -0.168281 (Trinity Bridge)
Crossesformerly the River Welland and a tributary
LocaleCrowland, Lincolnshire, England
Heritage statusGrade I listed
Designthree-way arch bridge
No. of spansdepends how you count them
Piers in water0
Construction start1360
Construction end1390
The seated figure is thought to be that of Christ or of King Ethelbald and is possibly from the west front of the Croyland Abbey.


The current bridge dates to the 14th century (built between 1360 and 1390) and replaced previous wooden bridges. The earliest known mention of the bridge is by King Æthelbald of Mercia in 716. In 943 it was mentioned in a charter of Eadred.[2] The bridge is now a scheduled monument and Grade I listed.

The bridge, also known as Croyland Bridge, consists of three gothic arches, and is supposed to have been built in honour of the Trinity, is of an earlier date than the Crusades, the time of building being determined to be of the year 860.[3]

The bridge is predominantly built from Barnack stone, which was quarried about 10 miles to the west of Crowland, and presumably transported by boat on the Welland.

This bridge has three stairways that converge at the top. Originally it spanned the River Welland and a tributary that flowed through the town, although the rivers were re-routed in the mid-seventeenth century[4] and no longer flow anywhere near the bridge. The bridge was an unusual and economical solution to the crossing of two watercourses at their confluence, reducing the need for three separate bridges to a single structure with three abutments.

Dry Bridge in Zrenjanin, Serbia, is another example of a bridge no longer crossing water, but it is far larger.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Trinity Bridge (352293)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  2. ^ Quoted in: Wheeler, M.Inst.C.E, William Henry (1896). A History of the Fens of South Lincolnshire, being a description of the rivers Witham and Welland and their estuary, and an account of the Reclamation, Drainage, and Enclosure of the fens adjacent thereto. (2nd ed.). J.M. Newcombe (Boston), Simpkin, Marshall & Co. (London). p. 313. doi:10.1680/ahotfosl2e.50358.
  3. ^ Young, M. (1789). "The Origin and Theory of the Gothic Arch". The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy. 3: 55–87. JSTOR 30078920.
  4. ^ "Trinity Bridge Orphaned Bridge of Crowland". Amusing Planet. Retrieved 20 September 2020.

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