Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
Where Berkshire meets Oxfordshire
- In Saxon
& Norman times, there was only a ferry across the River Thames
between Reading and Caversham.
- When William
Marshal ran England for the young Henry
III, he lived at Caversham Castle. The King had to cross the river
by ferry to see him.
- In the 1220s, when he was older, King
Henry paid for a bridge to be built instead.
- The bridge had a chapel dedicated to St.
Anne standing on an island in the middle of the River. Travellers
stopped there to pray for a safe journey. Pilgrims
also came to visit the relics that it had.
- The bridge had a wooden drawbridge at the
Reading end. This could be raised to control the traffic in times of
trouble, or at night.
- The chapel was closed by Dr.
John London in 1538. It became a house.
- During the Civil
War, King Charles I & his army lost the Battle of Caversham
Bridge while trying to help their friends being besieged
in Reading. It was too late anyway, as Reading had already
- In the early 19th century, the bridge was
in such a bad state that people kept falling off where there was no
- The medieval stone and brick bridge was
replaced by an iron bridge in 1868.
- The present concrete bridge was built in