Jarrold Bridge

Jarrold Bridge, Norwich. A photographic series of the River Wensum.

Canoeing with Thorpe Island Boats under the Jarrold Bridge

My River Wensum series starts with a photo tour of the bridges that cross it. I began with Carrow Bridge as it is the nearest to my apartment. Traveling along the Wensum up towards the city, the next bridge featured in this series is the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge, followed by the Lady Julian Bridge, and from there we arrived at the Foundry Bridge. If you were travelling towards the city by boat, to your left you would see Pull’s Ferry and Norwich Cathedral as you headed towards Bishop Bridge. The next curve is around the bend next to Cow Tower, with the Cathedral to the left, and apartments and offices to the right, where the next bridge is the Jarrold Bridge. 

The Jarrold Bridge

Back from ancient to modern again. Let no one say the Wensum doesn’t provide variety! 

The Jarrold bridge was designed by Stephen James of Ramboll (a company with 50 years of experience in bridge building) and built by local company R G Carter. Visit the Jarrold site to see all the awards this bridge has won and been short listed for. Truly impressive! You will also see other interesting facts there, such as the fact that the bridge slope is less than 1 in 20 for ease of use. It’s certainly nice to cycle over. If you are a bridge enthusiast and would like to know more about the construction of the Jarrold Bridge, SHStructures gives more technical information. I will tell you, however, it is just over 80m in length. I have never seen another bridge like it. I love the modern, clean curve of it and the location is perfect. 

Curve of the Jarrold Bridge over the Wensum
View to the Jarrold Bridge from the Wensum

From the top of the bridge you can enjoy the very natural view up towards Cow Tower and Mousehold Heath, lushly green with willows grazing the water. The bridge is just next to a car park, on the other side of which is the Adam & Eve pub, the oldest watering hole in Norwich. 

The view towards Jarrold Bridge in spring

The city view gives you the rear side of St James Mill, where Jarrold & Sons Ltd have their offices. Next door to St James Mill, new apartments are being built, so it is currently a construction site with a huge crane. I will return to St James Mill and the buildings along the Wensum in future posts. 

St James Mill where Jarrold have their offices.
View to the Jarrold Bridge in spring

The image above shows the ancient flint arch next to the ultra modern Jarrold Bridge.

From modern back to ancient, Whitefriar’s Bridge is the next bridge in this River Wensum series, which will feature not only bridges but go on to study the architecture, wildlife, and the current human life along the river. While the Wensum has a great history, life along the river continues to evolve and change, and I will be documenting that as the series continues.

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Foundry Bridge

Images and the history of Foundry Bridge, Norwich.

Foundry Bridge – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt

My River Wensum series starts with a photo tour of bridges. I began with Carrow Bridge as it is the nearest to my apartment. Traveling along the Wensum up towards the city, the next bridge featured in this series is the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge, followed by the Lady Julian Bridge and from there we arrive next at Foundry Bridge just by Norwich Train Station.

Norwich Station – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt
View of the Foundry Bridge from the Wensum – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt

While I often use Lady Julian Bridge to cut up to King Street for a shorter route into the city, what I really like to do, when I have time, is to walk along the Wensum up to Foundry Bridge and cross over Prince of Wales Road to continue the river walk. I also use Foundry Bridge to cross the river to get to the post office (I am sure you are fascinated to know this). It just goes to show how important these bridges are to daily life in Norwich. I’m very glad I don’t have to swim across the river.

Foundry Bridge at night – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt

The Foundry Bridge (a grade II listed building) is a single-span iron bridge with its own distinctive decorative design. Here are some interesting details about the Foundry Bridge from George Plunkett

‘The first to occupy this site was a toll bridge built of wood in 1811 by the contractors, Mendham of Holt. In 1844, with the coming of the railway, it was replaced by one made of iron by Bradley and Co. of Wakefield, and designed by C.D. Atkinson. It cost £800. It was then freed from toll. The present structure was built when Thorpe Station was enlarged; the contractors were R.Tidman and Co of Rosary Rd, Norwich. It cost £12,032. opened on January 17th, 1888.’

It is fascinating to know the cost of the construction of the Foundry Bridge. I can only imagine what a bridge of similar construction would cost today. It certainly wouldn’t be £12,000!

The thing I love about bridges is how unique each one is. Whether it be a footbridge or built for vehicular access, a swing, opening or fixed bridge, they all have their own special design, quirks, and individuality. This really appeals to me. Of course, every bridge provides an interesting viewpoint too, ideal for a photographer. 

Looking back towards Lady Julian Bridge with the Nelson Hotel on the right, Norwich Station on the left, and, of course, the Canoe Man. 

View from Foundry Bridge – Hotel Nelson on right – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt

Looking towards the city, Norwich Yacht Station is on the right hand side and the Compleat Angler pub on the left. Willow trees line the river down towards Pulls Ferry and the next bridge in this series Bishopsgate Bridge. 

From Foundry Bridge looking towards Bishop Gate Bridge – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt
Foundry Bridge from on the water – image by @MyriadLifePhotoArt

While researching the Foundry Bridge, I learned the tragic story of what happened nearby on April 4th, 1817 (Good Friday) to the Norwich Steam Packet when the engine exploded. You can read about it here on the NorfolkTalesMyths.com website.

This terrible story brought to mind a ghostly incident that happened in the Hotel Nelson garden a year ago. We often wander the city streets on summer nights, taking photographs and enjoying the lights. One night, we went down the steps from Foundry Bridge and walked alongside the Nelson Hotel into the garden. I walked a little ahead of my boyfriend while he stopped to read a sign, and suddenly, out of nowhere, a bottle flew through the air and landed by my foot. I spun around expecting to see the person who had thrown it, but there wasn’t a soul to be seen. There were no bushes to hide in.

With no wind and the bottle flying at knee height before it landed, we came to the conclusion it had been thrown by a ghost, or now I wonder, perhaps if it was eerily propelled by the historic explosion…

Whether you believe in ghostly happenings or not, it is the only explanation I have.

Look out for my next blog about Bridges o’er the Wensum – or get updated by hitting the subscribe button below.

Please follow on Instagram @MyriadLifePhotoArt and @MyriadLifeBooks

The Lady Julian Bridge

Photos of Lady Julian bridge in Norwich.
Photo by MyriadLifePhotoArt

The My River Wensum series starts with a photo tour of bridges along the river. I began with Carrow Bridge as it is the nearest to my apartment. Travelling along the Wensum up towards the city, the next bridge featured in this series is the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge. From here you get a beautiful view of the Lady Julian Bridge.

View of the Lady Julian Bridge at night by MyriadLifePhotoArt

It maybe a bit weird, but one of the things I love most about the 13-year-old Lady Julian Bridge is the satisfying sound it makes when children jump up and down on it. The other thing that really appeals to me is that it is designed in the shape of sail.

Lady Julian Bridge looking towards Riverside – photo by MyriadLifePhotoArt

Don’t walk in the middle 🙂

Lady Julian Bridge going towards King Street – photo by MyriadLifePhotoArt

This bridge is also a beautiful example of modern bridge engineering and links an area where new buildings are springing up fast to the much older side of the city. The bridge crosses over from Riverside towards King Street, which happens to be one of my favourite streets in the city.

Lady Julian Bridge is, tellingly enough, named for Lady Julian, who was an English anchoress in Medieval times. It is believed her writings, Revelations of Divine Love, are the earliest surviving English-language works by a woman. St Julian’s Church, where she lived, is not far from the river. An anchoress is “someone who has retired from the world,” which, at times, sounds pretty appealing to me.

Lady Julian Bridge – photo by MyriadLifePhotoArt

The bridge is a swing footbridge which opens to let bigger boats through. If you are planning to sail down the River Wensum, you can find more details via the Broads Authority website.

To find out more information relating to the Lady Julian Bridge scroll down for some useful websites.

All images and text copyright of @MyriadLifePhoto 2022

Lady Julian Wikipedia

Revelations of Divine Love Wikipedia

Bridges of Norwich – The Norwich Society

The Friendship (Novi Sad) Bridge

River Wensum photographic series by MyriadLifePhoto

My River Wensum series starts with a photo tour of the bridges along the river. I began with Carrow Bridge as it is the nearest to my apartment. While Carrow Bridge is nearly 100 years old, the Novi Sad Millennium Bridge opened in November 2001, so it is merely a youngster among the bridges of the Wensum.

The Novi Sad Friendship Bridge

The bridge is an asymmetric cable-stayed swing footbridge and is named Novi Sad in acknowledgement of the twinning of Novi Sad, Serbia, with Norwich. Novi Sad is a beautiful city that lies along the banks of the River Danube.

More information about the construction of the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge can be found here: fascinating facts for any bridge enthusiast!

The Broads Authority website gives heights and openings of all the bridges in Norfolk.

The Novi Sad Friendship Bridge cycle path at Night

The Novi Sad and the Lady Julian Bridge both have cycle paths in the centre. As a cyclist, I have to say, it’s a shame that more pedestrians don’t acknowledge this. As a pedestrian, I know it is easy to forget and wander into the cycle lane or be forced into it by other pedestrians.

View to the Novi Sad Bridge up river

In the picture above, you can see the derelict old restoration barn to the right and a picturesque riverside residential building, loved by many a passer-by.

It is a beautiful view towards the city from the Novi Sad Bridge, you can see Lady Julian Bridge and Norwich Cathedral spire in the distance. Check out my little video below.

View down river from the Novi Sad Bridge, looking towards Lady Julian Bridge

The pictures above show different angles of the Novi Sad Bridge. There is a patch of land next to the bridge that is being developed into apartments. Sadly the former Ferry Boat pub was forced to close due to noise complaints and financial difficulties.

The River Wensum is changing rapidly before our very eyes. In my next post, I move down the river to the Lady Julian Bridge.

All images and text copyright of @MyriadLifePhoto 2022

Bridges O’er The Wensum – Carrow Bridge

As part of my River Wensum photographic record, I am going to post about each of the bridges along the Wensum, starting here with Carrow Bridge.

Carrow Bridge is a lifting bridge. Unfortunately, I have never been lucky enough to see it lift up. I like to peer into the little control hut and imagine it in operation. Despite my best attempts to find a video of it opening, so far, I haven’t been successful. All I can find is a video of the test opening in 2018 to allow TS Lord Nelson aka HMS Vale pass through, which isn’t particularly interesting!

The current Carrow Bridge was constructed in 1923 to replace the old bridge to the South. More recently, there have been plans by the council to weld the bridge shut. Read a press release from the Norwich Society about this here

Reginald Dann, lived in Carrow Bridge House (the former bridge master’s house) for more than 50 years until it was sold at auction. Thankfully, a plan by the county council to demolish it was defeated by the city council.

You can see images of the bridge open here in an EDP article, when the TS Lord Nelson passed through in 2004. There is also a nice image in the article of the The ship “Paullgate” of Hull carrying cargo under Carrow bridge at the port of Norwich. Dated 20 May 1966. The TS Lord Nelson was eventually decommissioned and now rests in Bristol.

I walk across the bridge at least once every day, and I also cross it every night. I enjoy looking out over both sides of Carrow bridge, but my favourite view is looking back up the river past the Devil’s Tower towards old Paper Mill Yard.

You can read more about the history of the Devil’s Tower here – it is a virtually unique structure in England, built in the early 14th century. Directly opposite is the Windlass Tower.

I will write more about the Wensum Boom Towers in future posts.

A view further up from Carrow Bridge.

Up river towards the old Colman’s factory site.
The Broads Authority River Ranger making checks near Carrow Bridge

Carrow Bridge by night.

I frequently pass under the bridge, on the way into the city. It is a favourite spot for pigeons to court in the spring. There is also the occasional dove.

Sometimes swans sit in the wooden under-structure compartments as if they were stables. I am sure there is a technical name for the structure, but I have no idea what it is.

Carrow Bridge by night.

Eric and Erica, the Egyptian geese, like to perch on the wooden sidings that are there to guide boats through, but usually they are keeping guard on the river bank. Occasionally, a heron perches near the bridge too.

On summer nights, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of bats performing aerobatics around the bridge.

Eric and Erica keeping watch near Carrow Bridge

Street Art under Carrow Bridge

Every now and then, new street art appears under the bridge. These images have disappeared now, which is a shame because I really liked them. They are preferable to the meaningless tagging that crops up everywhere (not meaningless to gangs, I guess, but still an eyesore). 

To see old pictures of Carrow Bridge and the rest of the city, you may enjoy visiting the Francis Frith Collection.

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Sources used for this blog post: EDP24, The Norwich Society, the Francis Frith Collection, Norwich.Gov.uk, WivenhoeHistory.org.uk