Essex Bridge, Staffordshire

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Essex Bridge

Essex Bridge is a Grade I-listed[1] packhorse bridge over the River Trent near Great Haywood, Staffordshire.

Spanning the Trent 100 yards downstream of its confluence with the River Sow, it was built in 1550 by the then Earl of Essex a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. The Earl lived nearby at Chartley Castle. It is now the longest remaining packhorse bridge in England with fourteen of its original forty round span arches left,[2]:129 and has been described as "perhaps the least altered old bridge in the county"[1]

The bridge carries the long-distance footpath The Staffordshire Way over the River Trent, linking the Trent and Mersey Canal tow-path with the bridleway through the Shugborough estate to Cannock Chase.

The bridge is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Essex Bridge, Colwich". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. Hinchliffe, Ernest (1994). A Guide to the Packhorse Bridges of England. Milnrow, Westmorland: Cicerone Press. ISBN 1-85284-143-5. 
  3. "Essex Bridge, Great Haywood". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 

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