and Willington, two villages in South Derbyshire, are presently only
one mile apart, about 20 minutes walk, but this has not always been
the case - they were separated by the River Trent!
1839 you either used the ferry, off Meadow Lane, or you risked the
ford (just off Ford Lane) , and chanced a dousing when making the
crossing! This caused great difficulty for the connections and trade
between the two villages and, for the those living in Repton, to even
get to Derby.
inhabitants decided that they had to improve the situation, and so
by a great deal of effort on both sides, Royal Assent was given on
August 21st 1835 and a stone Bridge over the River Trent was conceived.
A Trust was initiated, and shares were sold, allowing moneys to be
raised to build the Bridge and the causeway. The bridge was initially
to connect onto Meadow Lane , close to the old ferry, but it proved
to be cheaper to build a new raised causeway to the present site.
Mr. James Trubshaw was the engineer who designed and built the bridge
at a cost of £10,560.00 including £2,150.00 to Mr Pearsall,
as compensation for the closure of his ferry. In addition the ancient
,metalled, ford was made impassable. The bridge was commenced in 1836
and opened, with suitable ceremony, in 1839. There was a manned toll
house built at the Willington end of the bridge and a toll gate went
right across the road.