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Holt Bridge, Farndon

Early fourteenth century ten arch masonry bridge
Red Wheel Site:
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Bridge Street, Holt, Denbighshire, Wales  LL13 9JH

LL13 9JH
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About Holt Bridge, Farndon

Farndon Bridge crosses the River Dee dividing the villages of Farndon, Cheshire, and Holt, Denbighshire. This was the border between England and Wales and ‘“ for many years - a site of cross-border raiding.

Records from the county court of Chester in 1368 note that ‘John, Earl of Warenne, late Lord of Bromfield, had constructed a bridge across the River Dee during 1338... and upon that bridge is a fortified gateway. The bridge originally had ten arches with a large gate tower on the fifth arch. A survey of 1627 described the bridge as ‘Contayninge 10 arches which River divideth Two Sheires, namely Cheshire and Denbye... Upon the fifth Arch from Holt standeth a Tower or Gatehouse of Fortification.‘ Describing the Lady Chapel in the tower it notes that ‘Upon the other end of the fortificacion next unto the manor of Farndon next unto the Manor of Farndon is layd out in Masons Works a Lyon to the full passant. And like Lyon is upon the gates of Holt Castell. The county of Chester doth repair the bridge to the Lyon.‘

Sixteen years later, William Brereton, attacked the bridge for the Parliamentarians; a contemporary account notes ‘For which end they had also made a tower and drawbridge and strong gates upon the bridge soe as they and wee coceived it difficult if not altogether ympossible to make way for our passage'. Despite this he, Thomas Myddelton and their forces took the bridge on 9th November 1643 when they cast grenades amongst the Welshmen. In the 18th century the tower was demolished and at some time two of the arches on the Welsh side were lost.

The bridge is a narrow masonry structure, built of red sandstone. Of the eight remaining arches, five are over the river. On the Farndon side there is one flood arch and there are two more on the Holt side. In the early 1990s the bridge was restored and renovated and at the same time an archaeological survey was carried out. It is Listed Grade I and is a scheduled Ancient Monument.

By road: On B5102, Bridge Street

By rail: Wrexham Station is approx 32 kms away

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