Suspension Bridge near Gt. Marlow

Suspension Bridge near Gt. Marlow. Steel engraving. From Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway.

Text accompanying the engraving

The range of luxuriant hanging woods of Bisham now rise in all their splendour, and, as we approach them, the abbey is seen, on the Berkshire side, near the church, at the very edge of the water. This abbey formerly belonged to the Knights Templars; but, on the reformation of that order, in the time of Edward II, the whole was given to the Augustin friars. After the dissolution of monasteries, it fell into various hands, and was at length purchased by the Hoby family, who, some time previous to the year 1592, built the present house, attached to the ruins of the abbey. The property now belongs to lord Bexley. Within the grounds of the estate, close upon the wier, stands the modest church of Bisham, containing some interesting monuments.

The stream now flows on in almost a straight line to Marlow, situated on the left, in the midst of marl beds (whence, probably, its name), and passes under the fine iron suspension bridge, which connects, with one span, the counties of Bucks and Berks. The Thames here branches out into two channels, one of which, on account of the stream being arrested by Marlow-lock, rushes over the weir to the right, forming a pleasing cascade, and adding much to the highly beautiful features of the surrounding scenery. The waters from this place to Battersea abound in lampreys, which, caught in the spring of the year, were formerly sold to the Dutch, in almost incredible numbers. Five hundred thousand were disposed of to them in one season; being, it is said, about one half of the total number taken in the Thames in the course of a year. In the time of queen Elizabeth, it appears that there were seventy locks between Abingdon and London, sixteen flood-gates and seven weirs; and not more than ten or twelve barges proceeded farther up the stream than Marlow or Bisham. [60-61]

Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of California Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Fearnside, W. G. Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway, Engraved on Steel by the First Artists. London: Black and Armstrong, [n.d. after 1837]. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California at Berkley Library. Web. 30 March 2012.

Last modified 30 April 2012