Fye Bridge

On a blissful summer’s evening walk along the River Wensum a couple of weeks ago, we came across one of the city’s ghostly storytellers regaling a sizeable group with tales of the women suspected of being witches who were ducked and drowned from Fye Bridge.

Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, and his colleague in terror, John Stearne, carried out the witch hunts between 1644 and 1647. You can read more about their evil endeavours at CulturaObscura.


The bridge itself looks innocently picturesque in the balmy evening light, but once it held nothing but terror for some of the folk of Norwich, mostly women, but also dishonest tradesmen. 


Fye Bridge is the oldest known bridge site in Norwich. Even older than Bishop Bridge, the bridge was rebuilt in the early 1930’s, so it has a more modern appearance. The bridge site dates back to 1153, a timber structure replaced with stone in the early 15th century. You can see more details and images of the construction of Fye Bridge via George Plunkett.

Personally, I love the shape of Fye bridge, the low curves and contrasting brickwork. It’s nice to sit with a drink at the Ribs of Beef and watch river life glide by.

Fye Bridge shot from a Thorpe Island Canoe

Sometimes you can see Kingfishers doing a spot of fishing. I’ve heard otters are sometimes around, but we have yet to see one.

Fye Bridge Quayside viewpoint


As with many old sites in Norwich, there are stories of a ghost. I will return to ghostly goings on in more detail as this Wensum series progresses, but the likelihood of me ever catching one on camera is extremely remote. If I ever do, the images will appear here first!

From NorfolkLive.co.uk—”Fye Bridge still stands today, and although the days of dunking suspected witches into the river are over, the bridge is said to be home to the ghost of a woman who was tried at the site. She was later burned for witchcraft at the nearby Lollard’s Pit, which is now a local pub. According to those who have had sightings of the ghost, she is dressed in rags and begs strangers to help her pick up a dropped bundle of sticks that were used to kindle the fire that killed her. It’s also believed that those that are kind enough to stop and help her will die in a fire within the year. “

It is always in my nature to help where needed, but I may avoid helping this ghost, I’ve far too many blog posts to get done yet!

Fye Bridge Willows

The name Fye, comes from Magdalen Street which was originally called Fybriggate meaning the street leading to Fye Bridge. (Heritage Norfolk). 

Please visit the sites I have linked for more information. I find the George Plunkett site particularly fascinating because of the old images of the bridges along the Wensum. It is well worth a look.

Under Fye Bridge

If you are interested to learn more of the history of old Norwich, the sites mentioned above give great information. Nick Stone of Invisible Works also makes for a fascinating and in depth read.

If you are new to Norwich I hope you will enjoy learning more about this fine city with its incredible history. If you already have lived here for years, I am sure like me, you are always learning new things about this remarkable place. Hopefully my River Wensum series will spark more interest and you will enjoy my images.

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Please see other posts in the River Wensum Series below. It begins with the bridges, and I will go on to write about the buildings and wildlife (including some of the humans) along the river.

Images of Bridges along the Wensum by MyriadLifePhoto

Please scroll down to find links to the other River Wensum bridges in this series.

Carrow Bridge

Novi Sad Friendship Bridge

Lady Julian Bridge

Foundry Bridge

Bishop Bridge

Jarrold Bridge

Whitefriars Bridge

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.

Please subscribe to enjoy updates. 

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.

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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

Down by the River Wensum – a photographic record in the making.

Springtime on the River Wensum, Norwich has arrived at last. It feels as though it has been a long winter and although there is always something to see waterside, life gets far more interesting as the temperature rises.

I have spent the last two years photographically recording the River Wensum through the seasons, and I continue to do so. The different styles of architecture, modern and old, are fascinating to shoot. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to shoot from a boat. My choice of craft is a canoe. It can be a bit wobbly which worries me sometimes but it’s flexible in getting good camera angles. It’s a whole new city from the water!

Where once there were Wherries and ships, now there are leisure boats, paddle boards, canoes and dinghies. Industrial use of the Wensum ceased in the 1980’s. I like to imagine how the Wensum thrived as a port. The industrial buildings all have their own stories. One of my favourite buildings is the old Furniture Restoration barn (see below). The corrugated metal it was created from has worn and rusted over the years. I like the way it is described on the Geograph site as being in a state of ‘picturesque dilapidation’.

The Old Furniture Restoration Barn

There are other elderly buildings I love along the river but I will detail those in future posts.

Each post will focus on a particular aspect of the river whether it be the Cormorants, Barnacle or Egyptian Geese, my beloved swans, Kingfishers or the medieval bridges, historical buildings such as Pull’s Ferry and Norwich Cathedral. I will drop in some history but mostly it will be how I see the river through my eyes, here in 2022, as it continues to change and evolve.

There is so much to look at and investigate, I hope you will subscribe to see the River Wensum through my eyes and enjoy my observations, perhaps even adding your own. The other benefit to subscribing is that every month I create a free notebook giveaway. All you have to do is leave your email address (don’t worry about getting bombarded, I don’t post all that often!)

My next post will give a brief history of the Wensum and explore the bridges.

Til next time…

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