The new Walton Bridge is fast approaching completion, and it seems a good time to look back on the history of the five previous bridges which have crossed the Thames here.

The first bridge was built for Samuel Dicker of Mount Felix, Walton, MP for Plymouth and a plantation owner in Jamaica. He obtained an Act of Parliament in 1747 to permit building the bridge & charging tolls, ranging form 1/2d for pedestrians to 2 shillings for a carriage and six horses. He had to agree building a huge central arch to satisfy barge owners, and the span of 130 feet was the largest in Britain for the next 50 years.

The Sunbury and Shepperton History Society will be publishing a book on the History of Walton Bridge at the end of June. The next Society talk is ‘Sunbury and Shepperton from Above’ at 8pm on Tues 21st January at Halliford School, Russell Road, Shepperton.