Linking the banks of the River Avon in Bath, England stands the Pulteney Bridge. The bridge has stood for almost 240 years and is a landmark listed by English Heritage as a site of historic interest.
Visitors to Bath and the historic bridge have a chance to appreciate the rich heritage of the area as well as to partake in the many quaint cafés and shops that surround it. Here you will find a brief history of the bridge and a look at what it is like today.
History of the Pulteney Bridge
The Pulteney Bridge was named after Frances Pulteney, wife of Sir William Pulteney, who commissioned the building of the bridge. Prior to the bridge’s construction, the only way to cross the River Avon was via ferry, which limited the potential growth of the small village of Bathwick. Construction began in 1767 and was completed in 1773.
The goal was to link Bathwick with the city of Bath, and that vision was realized by 1788. By linking the two banks of the river, Sir Pulteney turned a small village into a suburb of one of Britain’s most historic cities. The final vision was greatly enhanced by Robert Adam, who made the original design more elegant and turned it into the tourist attraction it is today.
Attractions in the Area
When tourists go looking for things to do in Bath, they often find themselves at the Pulteney Bridge. For those interested in the historical significance of the area, the Bath Weir marks where the area suffered from flooding. When the area was occupied by the Romans, some of the architecture had to be raised to avoid destruction.
The weir marks an attempt to alter the flow of the river and alleviate some of this flooding. The area around the bridge includes many different historical attractions and small cafés, making it an ideal place for those visiting Bath to enjoy some local refreshments while gaining a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich past.
Cruises and Sightseeing
Due to the depth of the river and the high amount of interest in the area, several cruise ships run near the Pulteney Bridge. These include two scenic cruisers with open tops to allow sightseers to view the bridge as the boat passes underneath it. The main cruisers in the area include the Scenic I, the Scenic II, the Avon Monarch, and the Sir William Pulteney.
The latter cruiser is named for the man who first envisioned the bridge. The cruisers are very tourist friendly and do not require tickets, allowing passengers to just pay on board instead. If you are looking for things to do in Bath, a trip in one of these scenic cruisers might be just what you are looking for.
Bath is one of the most famous historical cities in the world, and attractions like the Pulteney Bridge make it very clear where that reputation came from. With a number of well-preserved historical landmarks, a wide variety of shops and cafés, and a number of scenic cruisers, the bridge is a must see attraction if you are touring Bath.