This film is part of Free

Building of St. Mary's Bridge

An eye-opening, albeit rough-edged, look at the modern rebuilding of the historic St. Mary’s bridge in 1950s Doncaster.

Amateur film 1959 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


The celluloid damage and deterioration in this film lends itself well to the historic significance of the reconstruction of St Mary’s Bridge in Doncaster. Workmen use hand tools and heavy machinery to construct a modern 1950s bridge as locals look on with interest. The camera frequently pans around space ceaselessly exploring the metal interconnections of the bridge’s modern metal girders.

Early primitive bridges are known to have been built in the Doncaster area during the 13th Century. One particular bridge that crossed the River Don was located next to a chapel dedicated to St. Mary. Pious travellers were encouraged to make a donation at the chapel towards the maintenance of the bridge. It is thought that the bridge, which has been repeatedly rebuilt in this area, became known as St Mary’s Bridge due to the presence of the nearby chapel.