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North Mymms’ major historical bridges

Crossing water, rail and road


Image: montage of photographs of North Mymms bridges taken by Peter Miller

The parish of North Mymms has a surprisingly large number of bridges, many of which are at least 150 years old. Local historian and archivist Peter Miller has been researching local bridges and has produced the following report which includes all the major bridges that are approximately 100 years old or more. He has not included the more recent bridges over the A1M. There is an interactive map of all the locations at the foot of the page.

North Mymms’ major historical bridges


Bridges of the Ray Brook


Gobions brick bridge


Photograph of Gobions brick bridge west elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Gobions brick bridge west elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Photograph of Gobions brick bridge east elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Gobions brick bridge east elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Gobions brick bridge spans the Ray Brook in the Grade II listed Gobions Park and Garden. The bridge is thought to have been constructed c1840 after Robert William Gaussen purchased the Gobions Estate in 1838 and amalgamated it with his existing Brookmans Estate.

A new south to north drive was created leading from Folly Arch in Hawkshead Road to the Brookmans Manor House (now demolished), which was located near the golf clubhouse and Chancellor's School.

There is no direct evidence to support the construction date, and it is possible that the bridge could be older. The bridge is now in a poor condition and, at the time of writing, was closed to the public by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, which manages Gobions Wood, following an engineer's report.

Photograph of Gobions Bridge closed at time of writing (2019) Image by Peter Miller
Gobions Bridge closed at time of writing (2019)
Image by Peter Miller

Blue Bridge


Photograph of Blue Bridge East Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Blue Bridge east elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Photograph of Blue Bridge West Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Blue Bridge west elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

A keystone is on both sides of Blue Bridge recording the construction date of 1840
Image by Peter Miller
Blue Bridge was constructed in 1840 when New Road (now Bluebridge Road) was built across country linking Hawkshead Road with Bradmore Lane and what is now Station Road.

Map: 1822 Ordnance Survey (OS) Map Showing road layout before New Road (Bluebridge Rd) was created Image from the Peter Miller Collection
1822 Ordnance Survey (OS) Map
Showing road layout before New Road (Bluebridge Rd) was created

Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Map: 1868 OS 6-inch map Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
1868 OS 6-inch map
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
Above is an OS map from 1868 showing the recent construction of New Road, Blue Bridge and the railway.

East Coast Main Line railway bridge/tunnel



Photograph: East Coast Main Line Railway Bridge/Tunnel West Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
East Coast Main Line Railway Bridge/Tunnel west elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

The East Coast Main Line bridge/tunnel is located midway between Brookmans Park station and Hawkshead Road to the south. It spans the Ray Brook and was constructed by Great Northern Railway (GNR) in the late 1840s prior to the opening of the London to York main line railway on 7 August 1850.


Bridges of the Mimmshall Brook


Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate


Photograph: Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate - North Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate - north elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate north elevation c1900
Photograph from the Images of North Mymms Collection
George J. Knott/A. Nott

Photograph: Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate - South Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Hawkshead Lane Bridge, Warrengate - south elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller
It is not known when the bridge was constructed. The earliest definitive map reference is the 1868 6-inch to the mile OS map below. The bridge does not appear on the 1844 North Mimms Tithe Map.

1868 OS 6-inch map
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

The tollgate, to which Warrengate Road owes its name, was located just to the south of the bridge on the county and parish boundary and is shown above as Warrengate T.P. (Turnpike). The gate was removed in May 1887 by the Marquess of Salisbury.

Water Works Bridge


Photograph: Water Works Bridge South Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Water Works Bridge south elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Water Works Bridge south elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Water Works Bridge south elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

The bridge first appears on the 1914 25-inch OS map sheet XL.3 and appears to be the access to a well.

Map: 1914 OS 25-inch map sheet XL.3 Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
1914 OS 25-inch map sheet XL.3
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

The Barnet District Gas and Water Co. built a water pumping station at this location c1923.

North Mimms Pumping Station 1923
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

High Bridge, Warrengate Road


Photograph: High Bridge, Warrengate Road - South Elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
High Bridge, Warrengate Road - south elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Photograph: High Bridge, Warrengate Road - Looking west 2019 Image by Peter Miller
High Bridge, Warrengate Road - looking west 2019
Image by Peter Miller

A footbridge has existed in this location since at least 1868 and originally connected a footpath between Water End and Hawkshead Farm. It has been rebuilt from the original wooden structure and now connects with Wises Lane footpath (North Mymms footpath 11).

Map: 1868 OS 6-inch map Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
1868 OS 6-inch map
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

Photograph: High Bridge c1900 by George J. Knott Image from the Peter Miller Collection
High Bridge c1900 by George J. Knott
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

Bradmore Lane Bridge


Photograph: Bradmore Lane Bridge North Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Bradmore Lane Bridge north elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

The earliest definitive map reference is the 1868 6-inch to the mile Ordnance Survey map below. The bridge does not appear on the 1844 North Mimms Tithe Map. The original bridge was rebuilt in the C20, date unknown.

1868 OS 6-inch map
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland


Bridges of the River Colne


Swanland Road Bridge


Photograph: Swanland Road Bridge East Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Swanland Road Bridge east elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
Photograph: Swanland Road Bridge West Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Swanland Road Bridge west elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

The Mimmshall Brook ordinarily terminates at the Water End swallow holes, but in times of heavy rainfall, a lake is formed and the overflow is carried in a normally dry riverbed underneath Swanland Road and the A1M and effectively becomes the head of the River Colne.

The Swanland Road Bridge was originally constructed as part of the Barnet By-Pass between 1923 and 1927.

Teakettle Bridge


Photograph: Teakettle Bridge South-West Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Teakettle Bridge south-west elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
Photograph: Teakettle Bridge North-East Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Teakettle Bridge north-east elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

Teakettle Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in North Mymms and appears on the 1844 North Mimms Tithe Map. It stands on the southern end of Tollgate Road, which was once a major route between St Albans and London before the building of the Barnet By-Pass in 1927. The building of the A1M in 1976 severed the connection with Warrengate Road. It is not known how the bridge acquired its name.

Map: 1844 Tithe Map showing Teakettle Bridge and Water End School immediately to the south Image from the Peter Miller Collection
1844 Tithe Map showing Teakettle Bridge and Water End School immediately to the south
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

Church Avenue Bridge


Image: Church Avenue Bridge South-East Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Church Avenue Bridge south-east elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Church Avenue Bridge North-East Elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Church Avenue Bridge north-west elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
The Church Avenue bridge provides the only access to St Mary’s Church across the River Colne and until the building of the adjacent bridge c1902, was also the only access to North Mymms Park and House.

It is without doubt the oldest bridge location in North Mymms and a bridge of one form or another will have been at this location for many centuries. It is not known when the present bridge was constructed, although it is known from an early 20th century photograph that the railings on either side were extant then.

The bridge was strengthened in WWII to enable it to bear the additional load of the military vehicles that were accessing the U.S. General Hospital that was located in North Mymms Park.

In an article about the Water End swallow holes by H. M. Alderman in the Autumn 1955 edition of Hertfordshire Countryside, it is stated that the bridge is “a mean affair of weak lattice girders, insufficient to carry the normal traffic using the avenue leading to the church and beyond: it is strutted underneath as a safeguard”.

The struts, which are no longer extant, were presumably part of the strengthening for the U.S Hospital.

Bridge to main entrance to North Mymms Park


Image: Bridge to main entrance to North Mymms Park south-east elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Bridge to main entrance to North Mymms Park south-east elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Bridge to main entrance to North Mymms Park north-west elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Bridge to main entrance to North Mymms Park north-west elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
The bridge is the main drive to North Mymms House and was designed by architects Sir Ernest George and Alfred Bowman Yeates. George and his then partner Yeates were engaged between 1893 and 1910 by new owners Walter Hayes Burns and his wife Mary Lyman Burns to transform the house and grounds.

Image: Architect’s drawing published in Academy Architecture 1899 Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Architect’s drawing published in Academy Architecture 1899
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

The bridge consists of four brick elliptical vaults, with stone dressings and cutwaters, and brick parapet walls with stone copings The centre pier cutwater carries a triangular recess corbelled over it. The entry to the bridge, at each end, is marked by a semi-octagonal bay spreading from the roadway, and terminated by small obelisks on pedestals, which form a stop to the walls.

Image: Centre pier cutwater with triangular recess corbelled over it 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Centre pier cutwater with triangular recess corbelled over it 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
Octagon Lodge Gatehouse and the new bridge as seen from Church Avenue, c1900 
Photograph from George J. Knott part of the Images of North Mymms Collection
In the February 1970 edition of Hertfordshire Countryside, Dorothy Colville, whilst referring to the above photograph wrote:
‘The photograph dates from 1902, when Octagon Lodge and the attractive bridge were newly built. The river bed between the two bridges presented this lawn-like appearance until World War II, when the southern, that is the public, bridge was reinforced to cope with the heavy traffic to and from the American general hospital in North Mymms Park. At about that time it was noticed that the river bed was beginning to break away and it is believed that the reinforcement of the bridge caused a turbulence which had not previously existed. Erosion has continued from that time.’
The bridge is Grade II listed and described as:
‘Bridge and flanking walls. Adjoining main gates and octagonal lodge. 1893-4 by Sir Ernest George and Yates. Red brick with stone quoins and coping arches with stone surrounds triangular bastions on SW side. The flanking walls have terminal obelisks and scrolls.’


Bridges of the Skimpans Brook


Watersplash Bridge


Image: Watersplash Bridge east elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Watersplash Bridge east elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Watersplash Bridge west elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Watersplash Bridge west elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

The bridge is located on Station Road immediately to the south of Welham Green. The original bridge was constructed in 1920 and was dated on its east side. The bridge was rebuilt when the road was widened in October 1958.

Image: Watersplash, Station Road Image from George J. Knott part of the Peter Miller Collection
Watersplash, Station Road
Image from George J. Knott part of the Peter Miller Collection

Before the bridge was built in 1920, a ford and wooden footbridge existed. This was known as the Watersplash.


Bridges of the East Coast Main Line railway


Hawkshead Bridge


Image: Hawkshead Bridge south elevation 2019  Image by Peter Miller
Hawkshead Bridge south elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller

Road bridge carrying Hawkshead Lane over the railway. Originally built by the GNR c1850 of brick with three arches and stone abutments, a brick parapet with stone coping and a wooden fence. The middle arch spanned two tracks and the outer ones, one track each. The bridge was largely rebuilt to facilitate electrification of the line in the 1970s. The piers remain but the remainder has been rebuilt with a concrete girder and metal parapet.

Image: Hawkshead Bridge South Elevation in August 1959 before rebuilding Image from the Peter Miller Collection
Hawkshead Bridge South Elevation in August 1959 before rebuilding
Image from the Peter Miller Collection

The undated pre-1850 GNR land acquisition map, below, illustrates the intent to construct the Hawkshead Bridge at right angles to the railway, rather than the skew bridge as it is today.

Pre-1850 GNR land acquisition map
Image from the Peter Miller collection

Brookmans Park Station Bridge


Image: Brookmans Park station bridge north elevation 2019   Image by Peter Miller
Brookmans Park station bridge north elevation 2019 
Image by Peter Miller
The original bridge was a lattice ironwork structure, constructed for the opening of Brookmans Park railway station on the 19 July 1926. The bridge was rebuilt in the late 1970s.

Image: The original Brookmans Park station footbridge c1926 Image from G.J. Knott part of the Peter Miller Collection
The original Brookmans Park station footbridge c1926
Image from G.J. Knott part of the Peter Miller Collection

Bradmore Bridge


Image: Bradmore Bridge north elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Bradmore Bridge north elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Bradmore Bridge north elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Bradmore Bridge north elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller
Road bridge, carrying Station Road from Brookmans Park to Welham Green. Built by the GNR in 1880 to replace Bradmore Gate crossing. Building began on January 26 1880 and was completed by November 22 in the same year. It has brick piers which support iron girders over four tracks. A brick and timber parapet was originally constructed but has since been replaced with brick and steel.

Map:  Bradmore Gate 1868 OS 6-inch map  Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
Bradmore Gate 1868 OS 6-inch map
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
A pedestrian bridge built of iron girders with a wooden parapet was added to the south side of the bridge in the 1960s.

Pedestrian Bridge, south elevation, 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Brookmans Park Station road bridge May 1963
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Peter Miller Collection
Commuters walking in the road before the addition of the pedestrian bridge, note the timber parapet.

Skimpans Bridge


Image: Skimpans Bridge west elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Skimpans Bridge west elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Skimpans Bridge west elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Skimpans Bridge west elevation detail 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Images: Skimpans Bridge west elevation detail 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Skimpans Bridge west elevation detail 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Image: Skimpans Bridge east elevation detail 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Skimpans Bridge east elevation detail 2019
Image by Peter Miller
 Railway bridge over Bulls Lane, built by the GNR c1850. Brick piers, iron girder. The bridge had to be rebuilt when the tracks were widened in the 1870s and was further reconstructed in 1895 and 1898. The iron girders were replaced in March and April 1968. The parapet on the east elevation now differs from the west elevation and has been entirely rebuilt.

Skimpans Bridge east elevation detail 1982
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection

Skimpans Bridge girder replacement, east elevation, March/April 1968
Image Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

Skimpans Bridge girder replacement, east elevation, March/April 1968 
Image Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

Marshmoor Bridge


Image: Marshmoor Bridge south elevation 2019 Image by Peter Miller
Marshmoor Bridge south elevation 2019
Image by Peter Miller

Road bridge, carrying Dixons Hill Road across the railway line, to Welham Green. Built by the GNR c1880 to replace Marshmoor Gate crossing, which connected Pooleys Lane with Marshmoor Lane. The bridge was originally constructed of brick with three arches, the middle over two tracks, the outer ones over one track each. A footpath on a steel frame was added on the south side in the 1960s. The bridge was completely rebuilt in brick and concrete to facilitate electrification of the line in the 1970s.

Map: Marshmoor Gate 1883 OS 6-inch map (surveyed 1873-1879)  Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland
Marshmoor Gate 1883 OS 6-inch map (surveyed 1873-1879)
Image courtesy of the National Library of Scotland

Original three-arch brick bridge in the 1960s - view from Travellers Lane
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms collection

Same view, summer 1986
Photograph by Mike Allen, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection
Image: The newly constructed Marshmoor footpath in the 1960s Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection
The newly constructed Marshmoor footpath in the 1960s
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection

Image: View looking north showing the steel frame of the footpath on the south side of the bridge May 1963  Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection
View looking north showing the steel frame of the footpath on the south side of the bridge May 1963
Image by Ron Kingdon, part of the Images of North Mymms Collection



By Peter Miller 2019
Peter Miller is one of the team of four responsible for the North Mymms History Project.


Map of major historical bridges in North Mymms


The map below is best viewed in full-screen mode. To activate, click on the oblong icon top right of the map to ‘View larger map’. The icon at the top left of the bar above the map will reveal the list of bridges. Click on the name of the bridge in that list to reveal more details. The colours are as follows:
  • Blue = The bridges of the Ray Brook
  • Orange = The bridges of the Mimmshall Brook
  • Green = The bridges of the River Colne
  • Grey = The bridge over Skimpans Brook
  • Red = The bridges of the East Coast Main Line
The light green shaded area indicates the parish of North Mymms.





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