West Sussex, England
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Stopham Bridge, 2 miles west of Pulborough, West Sussex, is on the site of a former ford across the River Arun just east of where the River Rother finally meets with the Arun. The bridge was originally constructed in wood in 1309 as a replacement for the Eastover Ferry which was owned by John Stopham. The earliest stone bridge - possibly with a wooden drawbridge - was constructed in 1442. The bridge has had a chequered history over the centuries, periodically being allowed to fall into ruin and decay followed by repair and reconstruction. In 1757 the road to Petworth became a turnpike. The original six arches are 11ft 9in spans, with a central arch of 12ft 9in span. This was heightened by 5ft in 1822 to provide extra clearance for vessels using the Arun navigation & Wey & Arun Canal. In 1865, the western end was re-aligned to give a better approach to Stopham House.
The total length of the bridge is 246ft, following extensions at both ends carried out in 1865, at which time a flood arch was also added to the curved west side. The roadway is 12ft wide with nine refuges over the piers.
The old bridge is a scheduled ancient monument and together with the new bridge, is maintained by West Sussex County Council.
The new bridge was completed in 1986. Due to poor ground conditions the bridge is carried on foundations which extend down to the firm sandstone layers some 15 - 20m below ground level.
The White Hart public House is situated at the south end of the old bridge.
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