Bristol's original bridge crossed the River Avon and inspired the name of the Saxon era market town 'Brycgstow' (meaning "place by the bridge" in Old English), which developed next to the crossing.
In 1247 a new stone bridge was built across the river. Each side of this structure was lined with houses, which were five stories high and overhung the river. At the time of the Civil War the bridge's population was strongly parliamentarian and was noted for its community of goldsmiths, who may have been attracted by the unusually secure premises.
By the mid-18th century the narrow medieval bridge, which was still the only route across the river without a ferry, was too congested to cope with its increasing traffic burden. Consequently, the bridge was rebuilt between 1764 and 1768, and a toll was charged to pay for these works. The decision in 1793 to extend this toll for a further period of time was met with public outrage, resulting in the Bristol Bridge Riot. Causing 11 deaths and 45 injuries, this was one of the worst riots of the 18th century.
This bridge remains in use today, and is now a grade II listed building crossing the Floating Harbour.