Tern Bridge


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
B4380, Shropshire, West Midlands, SY5 6QJ


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Statutory Address:
B4380, Shropshire, West Midlands, SY5 6QJ

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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Wroxeter and Uppington
National Grid Reference:


Road bridge, built in 1771-1780, designed by William Hayward for the County of Shropshire and Noel Hill, 2nd Baron of Berwick. The road was widened in 1932.

Reasons for Designation

Tern Bridge, built in 1771-1780 to designs by William Hayward, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * It is an elegant, classically-style, single-span road bridge, employing high-quality stone and craftsmanship; * It displays a high level of decorative attention, which was afforded due to its prominent visual relationship with the adjacent designed landscape of Attingham Park.

Historic interest: * It was designed by the notable bridge designer William Hayward, who was responsible for several important crossings including Walcot Mill Bridge, Shropshire (Grade II listed) and Henley Bridge, Henley on Thames (Grade I listed).

Group value: * With a number of designated assets including the adjacent landscape garden at Attingham Park (Grade II* registered) and the main house (Grade I listed), as well as Atcham Bridge (Grade II* listed) to the west.


Tern Bridge stands on the southern boundary of Attingham Park (Grade II* registered), an C18 Picturesque landscape through which runs the River Tern. The northern side of park was landscaped by Thomas Legget in 1769-1772. The bridge was built in 1777-1780, replacing an earlier bridge located 150m to the north. The crossing was moved to create a new route for the Holyhead road (B4380), thereby enlarging Attingham Park. William Hayward was commissioned to design and build the bridge. The County of Shropshire paid for its construction and the decoration was funded by Noel Hill, 2nd Baron of Berwick who inherited Attingham Park in 1768. Hill’s interest was due to the prominent view between the bridge and the main house. Hill went on to make major alterations to the estate, including the rebuilding of the main house in the 1780s (Grade I listed). He also commissioned Humphry Repton to make improvements to the landscape in 1797, including improving the view to Tern Bridge. Repton’s Red Book of 1797-1798 includes a picture of the bridge with a proposed additional pedestrian arch and a realigned parapet, neither of which were carried out. Further retaining walls topped by railings were added in the late C18 to the either end of the bridge on the north side (Grade II listed). The roadway was widened to the south in around1932.

William Hayward (about 1740-1782) was an architect and bridge builder. He was the son of the mason John Hayward of Lincoln and father of the architect William Hayward of Lincoln (d.1825). William Hayward designed several bridges including Walcot Mill Bridge, also on the River Tern, built in 1782 (Grade II listed) and Henley Bridge, Henley on Thames, designed 1781 and constructed after his death by John Townsend (Grade I listed).


Road bridge, built in 1771-1780, designed by William Hayward for the County of Shropshire and Noel Hill, 2nd Baron of Berwick. The road was widened in 1932.

MATERIAL: grey sandstone ashlar.

DESCRIPTION: the bridge consists of a single, wide, segmental arch with rusticated voussoirs. At the centre is a triple keystone consisting of fluted keys flanking a central carved face. Above is a continuous frieze and cornice, topped by a balustrade parapet interrupted by intermittent square blocking. At either end of the arch is an arched niche flanked by rusticated Tuscan half-columns and the parapet above breaks forward of the bridge line. The bridge is flanked by curved retaining walls that have square-end piers and battered buttresses. A plaque in the centre of the parapet is inscribed ‘THIS BRIDGE/WAS ERECTED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE COUNTY/A.D. MDCCLXXX/ AND DECORATED AT THE EXPENSE OF/NOEL HILL ESQ/WILLIAM HAYWARD ARCHITECT’. Smaller plates records that the bridge ‘WIDENED 1932 BY/THE REINFORCED CONCRETE/CONSTRUCTION CO LTD/OLD TRAFFORD MANCHESTER’.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Colvin, H, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1995), 507-9
Pevsner, N, Newman, J, The Buildings of England: Shropshire, (2006), 129-30
Skempton, A, A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers. Volume 1: 1500-1830, (2002), 309-10
TERN BRIDGE with Attingham in the in the distance; from Repton's Red Book, accessed 08 June 2017 from http://www.ntprints.com/image/385123/tern-bridge-with-attingham-in-the-in-the-distance-from-reptons-red-book
Shropshire Historic Envrionment Record for Old Tern Bridge. HER UID: 02627.
Shropshire Historic Envrionment Record for Tern Bridge. HER UID: 00126.


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 08 Feb 2002
Reference: IOE01/08442/36
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr M. I. Joachim. Source Historic England Archive
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