Cast iron single-span bridge 110m WNW of Sherbourne House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Coventry (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
SP 32699 78831

Reasons for Designation

Iron was used as one of the components of bridge construction for at least a thousand years before it was first used as the principal construction material in the Iron Bridge erected by Abraham Darby in 1779 over the Severn at Coalbrookdale. Despite its use of iron, however, the Iron Bridge simply copied existing construction techniques suited to timber, and therefore did not maximise the potential of this new material. The engineer Thomas Telford subsequently recognised that the lighter cast iron frames allowed the use of flatter angles and less substantial foundations, whilst still enabling single spans and avoiding the central piers which hindered navigation and caused instability by attracting water-scouring. The development of the single span cast iron bridge thus represented a turning point in British bridge design and engineering. All examples which retain significant original fabric are of importance. Despite having been moved the cast iron single span bridge 110m WNW of Sherbourne House survives well and retains its original features thus demonstrating its engineering design and reflecting the manufacturing process.


The monument includes a cast iron single-span footbridge, locally known as 'Vignoles Bridge', which crosses the River Sherbourne close to the centre of the present city of Coventry. The bridge survives as a painted metal bridge with a single elliptical arched span, geometric pierced balustrades, brick-built splayed abutments and parapets and with a tarmac covered walkway. Built in about 1835, it was designed by Charles Vignoles and cast by the Horsley Iron Works of Tipton, Staffordshire, whose name is cast onto the half arch spans on one side of the bridge. It originally spanned a branch of the Oxford canal and was moved to its present site in 1969.

Sources: PastScape 869478


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
WM 36
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing