Normandy Historians - Home Page
Antiquities and Peculiarities
of Normandy

Tickners Bridge

You may be forgiven for not knowing where "Tickners Bridge" is as it is now reduced to a mere culvert under the Guildford Road in Normandy but it was once a vital link between the village and the outside world. It is situated about two hundred yards west of our only pub, The Duke of Normandy.

Flood at Tickners Bridge
Flood at Tickners Bridge, 30th October 2000

The water which flows through the culvert is formed by the confluence of two streams, one of which rises in the vicinity of Catherine Frith and the other, which itself is composed of two streams, rising respectively in Wanborough and East Flexford. The combined stream passes into Henley Park and eventually falls into the River Thames via the Stanford Brook, Hoe Stream and the River Wey.

The stream was important in bygone days as it formed part of the boundary between the parishes of Ash and Worplesdon. (Normandy was part of Ash parish at that time.) The beating of the bounds was a regular event and in 1562 a document stated "Beginning at Cleygate Hill northwards by the hedge of lands called French Inghams ...Pytridge Lane ... comes unto Tickners Bridge and so northwards unto Henley Park as ye brook or stream doth lead upon the north part until it cometh unto Cobetts Bridge…..".

Another document dating from the second half of the 17th century relates John Kerr's oath at Serjeants Inn, London before Judge Thurland that "56 years since he went the bounds of Worplesdon parish and that they always went along the south side of the brook in Henley Park from Tickners Bridge to Cobetts Bridge with the Ministers and parishioners of Worplesdon and the Ashe inhabitants used to go the other side of the brook."

The bridge is situated at almost the lowest part of the parish and the area was subject to frequent flooding up until comparatively recent times. There was probably a causeway leading up to the bridge on either side. A measure of the importance of the bridge may be gathered from the frequent complaints about the state of its repair recorded in the Court records of the Manor of Cleygate. The upkeep was the responsibility of the Lord of the Manor rather than the tenants and in 1546 it is recorded that "A certain common bridge called Tyttnersh Bridge is ruinous and very much in decay to the common hindrance that the Lord of this Manor ought to amend the said bridge..." Again, in 1555 "A certain bridge called Tytners Bridge is very perilous and in decay for lack of plonk (sic) in default of the King and Queen's Majesties. Therefore they pray the said King and Queen of their Grace to amend the bridge aforesaid." At this time the Lords of the Manor were Mary Tudor and her husband Philip II of Spain. Perhaps she was too busy burning heretics and he appeared to take little interest in his English Domain.

So it went on until Local Government was revolutionized in the 19th century and the upkeep of the roads and their appurtenances became the responsibility of the County Councils. So next time you travel between Normandy and Guildford spare a thought for our forebears and their troubles. Perhaps a few pot holes in the road will not seem so serious.

Jack Kinder

Home Page
Antiquities and Peculiarities Index
Back to Index
© Copyright by Normandy Historians All Rights Reserved.