On the third day of Christmas…

…my true love sent to me: three Thames bridges, two scheduled monuments and an Inner Distribution Road.

Reading has three beautiful bridges over the Thames. The youngest is Christchurch Bridge and is a pedestrian and cycle only bridge. The middle bridge is Caversham Bridge opened in 1926 and the oldest, Reading Bridge opened in 1923.

Both Reading and Caversham Bridges replaced existing structures and were mentioned as part of the Reading Extension Order which in 1911 made Caversham, then a separate Urban District Council, part of Reading. Caversham and District Residents Association (CADRA) are represented on Reading CAAC. In 2011 the ‘Caversham 100 Years On’ project commemorated 100 years since joining Reading. One of the outputs was a heritage map of important historic sites in Caversham.

Caversham Bridge was added to the St Peter’s Conservation Area in November 2018. This was the first revised conservation area appraisal produced by Reading CAAC. From the bridge are beautiful views upstream which are protected in Reading’s New Local Plan. You can read more about them in the document produced by members, Assessment of significant Views with Heritage Interest, on Reading Borough Council’s website on the planning policy pages.

William Marshall information board on Caversham Bridge unveiled on 7 November 2019

CADRA state in their heritage map that Reading Bridge was the ‘…longest single span of its kind in the country and was weight-tested by a procession of steam rollers, traction engines and loaded lorries.’

Works on Reading Bridge during 2014

The winner of the public ballot to select one of four possible names for the new bridge over The Thames was announced as Christchurch Bridge by Councillor Tony Page at a full council meeting on 22 March 2016 in response to a question from Councillor Bet Tickner (Agenda item 6). The three original ideas from the council were Christchurch Bridge, Cusden Bridge and De Montfort Bridge. An additional suggestion, William Marshall Bridge, was selected from the 181 additional ideas submitted by members of the public during the process.

Work in progress on Christchurch Bridge February 2015

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