Folly Bridge is a stone bridge over the River Thames carrying the Abingdon Road, south from the centre of Oxford, England. It was erected 1825–27, to designs of a little-known architect, Ebenezer Perry (died 1850), who practiced in London. The bridge is in two parts separated by an island. The origin of the name is uncertain although it has been suggested that it originated about 1650 after a tenant of Bacon's study.
The proper names for the mediaeval bridge were Grand Pont and South Bridge. In the 13th century, the alchemist Roger Bacon lived and worked at "Friar Bacon's Study" which stood across the north end of the bridge until 1779. In 1369 when there was a grant of pontage on "Grauntpount", the structure was said to be "so dangerous as to be well nigh impassable".
A toll-booth gateway tower used to straddle the approach to the bridge, which was on the Abingdon to Banbury turnpike. The toll house was rebuilt in 1826 and is now Grade II listed. The former bridge and "Bacon's Tower" were drawn by many artists, including the twelve-year-old Joseph Mallord William Turner.
There was also a weir underneath the bridge which had a flash lock and later a "pen" lock. At the beginning of the 19th century this and the poor state of the bridge itself constituted a problem to navigation. Surveys discovered that the foundations were in a very bad state and in 1815 an Act of Parliament was obtained to rebuild the bridge and remove the "Tackle and Works" underneath. The new bridge works were begun in 1824 and completed in 1827. A pound lock was established nearby in about 1832, which was removed in 1884. Robert Gunther, the historian of science, bought 5 Folly Bridge, an unusual castillated house by the bridge, in 1911. The house is embellished with statues and cast iron balconies on the outside. It is located on a small island in the middle of the Thames.
Salters Steamers are located near the bridge. Punts are available near the bridge and Christ Church Meadow is just downstream. The Head of the River public house is next to the bridge to the north-east, with views of the bridge and river.
ASCOT today: 1.55 Folly Bridge, 2.30 Frankel, 3.05 White Moonstone, 3.40 Navajo Chief, 4.15 Rip Van Winkle, 4.50 Electric Feel, 5.25 Omokoroa.
Sep 25, 2010; ASCOT today: 1.55 Folly Bridge, 2.30 Frankel, 3.05 White Moonstone, 3.40 Navajo Chief, 4.15 Rip Van Winkle, 4.50 Electric Feel,...