Monnow Bridge spans the River Monnow close to its confluence with the River Wye in the town of Monmouth, Monmouthshire, South Wales. The bridge is the only remaining medieval fortified River Bridge in Britain where the gate tower stands actually on the bridge. The stone bridge was built in the 13th century and stands guarding the entrance to this disputed border town to this day.
The stone bridge is constructed of Old Red Sandstone, with three arches on hexagonal piers forming pointed cutwaters. The gatehouse, called Monnow Gate, which gives Monnow Bridge its remarkable and noteworthy appearance, was added at the end of the 13th or start of the 14th century, a few years after the bridge itself was built.
1297 Edward I provided a murage grant in favour of Monmouth, in
response to a request from his nephew Henry of Lancaster. This permitted
and enabled the townspeople to build the town walls and gates for
defence and protection.
Today the bridge
is Monmouth’s major attraction and is visited by thousands of tourists
each year. Both the Offa’s Dyke Path and the Wye Valley Walk, two of
Wales’ most popular long distance walks converge at the Monnow Bridge.