No 170. Sonning Bridge

This very attractive brick bridge was built in 1775 to replace a previous wooden bridge dating from 1604.   Its original purpose was to allow access for carts to the mill at Sonning Eye, which has now been converted into a theatre complex.   Like most of the towns and villages along the Thames, Sonning is very historic and King John is believed to have stayed here in the Bishop’s Palace before signing the Magna Carta in 1215.   In the late 19th Century it was suggested that the bridge should be removed due to lack of use, but after a spirited campaign led by the painter William Holman Hunt and architect Sir Edwin Lutyens it was saved.