Bristol Bridge with St Peter's Church in the background. The bridge provides the
origin of the city's name - Bricgstow meaning "settlement by the bridge". Originally
made of
timber, it was rebuilt in stone in the 13th century. A chapel dedicated to the
Assumption of the
Virgin Mary once spanned the middle of the bridge. A new bridge
was designed by James Bridges in 1757-60, but bitter wrangling over alternative designs
resulted in Bridges leaving the project, and the bridge was built by Thomas Paty in
The new bridge was built on the original medieval pier foundations. An iron
superstructure was added in the 19th century to support the widened road.