This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Back to Search page

Swarkestone Bridge and Causeway

This 13th century bridge is the longest stone bridge in England, being nearly a mile long. It is a Grade I listed building.
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):
Swarkestone, DE73 7JA
DE73 7JA
Visitor Centre:

About Swarkestone Bridge and Causeway

The ancient bridge at Swarkestone crosses the River Trent about six miles south of Derby and was for about three hundred years the Midlands' main crossing of the Trent. The bridge is in total just under a mile long and has seventeen arches.

It was built in the 13th century to cross the river and its surrounding marshes. It is the longest stone bridge in England and is listed Grade I . According to Pevsner the present part actually crossing the river, which has 5 arches, dates from the 18th century and was designed by Thomas Harrison.

The bridge is undersized for modern traffic, and is scarcely two-lane for cars at several points. Though there is a weight limit of 7.5 tonnes, the walls of the bridge often take damage from traffic. At the southern side of the bridge is Stanton by Bridge.

In the Battle of Swarkestone bridge during the English Civil War (1643) it was defended by the Royalists against the Parliamentarians, but the outnumbered Cavaliers lost the day.

In 1745 during the Jacobite Rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, the advance party of his army reached here to gain control of the crossing of the Trent. Finding no reports of support from the south, they turned back to Derby, the invading army then retreated to Scotland and final defeat at the Battle of Culloden. Swarkestone was thus the most southerly point reached during that advance on London.


By Road: It is crossed by the A514 some 6 miles south of Derby.

Addison, Sir William. The Old Roads of England ISBN 0 7134 1714 5 (1980)

Albert, W. The Turnpike Road System in England 1663- 1840. Camb. Univ. Press. ISBN O 5210 3391 8 (1972)

Harrison, David. The Bridges of Medieval England. Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-922685-6 (2004)

Hindle, P. Roads and Tracks for Historians. ISBN 1 86077 182 3 (2001)

Hindley, G. History of the Roads. Peter Davies. ISBN 0 8065 0290 8 (1971)

Jackson, Gibbard. From Track to Highway. (1935)

Jervoise, E. Ancient Bridges of England. Architectural Press. (1932)

Sheldon, G. From Trackway to Turnpike. Oxfd. Univ. Press. (1928)

Taylor, C. Roads and Tracks of Britain. ISBN 0 460 04329 3 (1979)

National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR