Abridge Road, IG7

PLACE NAME

Takes its name from the brick bridge over the River Roding which is situated just to the north of the modern Abridge centre and carries the road north to Theydon Bois. It was called Heybridge in 1576. In the late 16thCentury there was an argument over who was responsible for the upkeep of the bridge, with the landowners on either side claiming it wasn’t them. The legal battle raged on for more than 20 years until, in 1594, the county accepted responsibility. In 1855 the inhabitants of Abridge complained to the justices of the peace about the dangerous state of the road and footbridge, after flooding rendered it impossible to cross, and meant a six mile detour. So the following year the county surveyor produced plans for an embankment with culvert, and the plank and rail footbridge was repaired. The road itself closely follows the course of an old Roman road, passing the site of the Roman settlement at Gravel Lane, and as the main road to London it has, since early times, been the important road in the parish of Lambourne.

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