A new bridge between Peters Village (Wouldham) and
Snodland was opened on the 15th September 2016.
In Roman times a wooden bridge was known to exist at Rochester eventually replaced by a stone bridge. Foot crossings (fords) were the norm as well as the use of ferry boats. It must be remembered that 2000 years ago the river was very different. In places it may have split into several channels forming islands and spread across its flood plain. The tidal reach is thought to have been at Halling in Roman times. Over the centuries the tide reached further up the Medway. There were a series of major floods leading to innundation of land. By the early l8th century there is witness that the tidal reach was at East Farleigh Bridge just prior to the construction of the locks.
Little evidence can be found of crossings although there certainly would have been many. Fording a river can be hazardous business even with very little depth of water. Note sites where churches are located on both sides of the river usually an indicator of a ford crossing.
Evidence of a ford at Aylesford was uncovered in May 1863 when the Lower Medway Navigation Company decided to remove 'Walnut Tree Shoal' about 150 yards above the bridge. Two parallel rows of large stones were found running across the river.
The iron cemented conglomerate across the river at Snodland would have been a natural crossing place.
It is thought that by the early 15th century there were four stone built crossings of the Medway. East Farleigh, Maidstone, Aylesford and Rochester. All were modified over the years to accommodate the ever larger boats and increasing road traffic.
Images of the later bridges can be found under Places.
New Snodland - Wouldham bridge