Newport Town Bridge (Newport Bridge)

Newport Bridge (Commonly called Town Bridge) connects High Street and Clarence Place across the River Usk in Newport, Wales and it next to the Castle.

The first stone bridge on the site was a bridge of five arches, erected in the year 1800 by David Edwards (son of William Edwards). It was widened and improved in 1866.

The original foundation stone bearing the inscription “This bridge was erected at the expense of the County by David Edwards and his two sons William and Thomas. Completed AD MDCCC.” is now set into the stonework of Caerleon Bridge.

By 1920 even the widened bridge had become inadequate, so work began to replace it entirely with a new structure. To best achieve this a temporary wooden bridge was erected alongside it and all power and gas lines were re-routed onto it. Even the town’s tram lines and their accompanying overhead power system were moved over.

The old bridge was then demolished and the new one erected. On 22 June 1927 the new bridge was complete and opened to traffic by the Transport Minister Wilfrid Ashley. The new bridge has stone cherubs that were modelled after Newport’s coat of arms and mounted on the bridge. In 1994 John Squire, guitarist of The Stone Roses designed the cover of their hit single Love Spreads based on a photograph of a stone cherub on Newport Bridge.

The cherub design was found on many pieces of Second Coming merchandise, the album from which Love Spreads is taken. On the 5th March 1913 the famous escape artist Harry Houdini jumped off Newport bridge with his hands manacled & feet shackled. He was arrested the following week by the police for obstructing a public highway and for holding a public entertainment on the bridge.

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