Essex Bridge, Staffordshire
Originally called the Shugborough Bridge, Essex Bridge is a Grade 1 listed packhorse bridge that spans the River Trent carrying the Staffordshire Way. Crossing the bridge takes you from Great Haywood to the Shugborough Estate.
The bridge was built in 1550 by the Earl of Essex who at the time lived at the nearby Chartley Castle. It was built for Queen Elizabeth 1, so that when she visited the Shugborough estate she could go hunting in the woodland around the local village.
It is the least altered old bridge in the country, being almost as it was when it was built. The parapets were build low purposely to allow packhorse loads to cross without rubbing on the stonework. The bays were for people to stand in to allow the packhorses across. It is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Keywords: 1, bridge, grade, heritage, history, listed, packhorse, river, shugborough, staffordshire, trent, walk, walking