Scheduled Ancient Monument and the longest stone bridge in England
The bridge was built in the 13th Century to cross the River Trent and the surrounding marshes. The first mention of the bridge was in 1204 (known as ‘Ponte de Cordy’), but in part has been modified, repaired and rebuilt. The majority of the existing bridge dates from the late 13th and early 14th Century. Built primarily of local sandstone it is the longest stone bridge and the longest inland bridge in England.
The bridge has proved itself of strategic importance throughout the ages. It was for about 300 years the Midlands’ main crossing of the Trent, and the only crossing between Burton-on-Trent and Nottingham. In the Battle of Swarkestone Bridge the bridge was defended by the Royalists against the Parliamentarians, but the outnumbered Royalists lost the day.
In 1745, Swarkestone Bridge was the southernmost point of Bonny Prince Charlie’s advance on London, in his attempt to claim the British throne. During the Second World War, it was defended by gun emplacements and tank traps in case of a German invasion.