The Wooden Bridge, or the so-called ‘Mathematical Bridge’ is the popular footbridge just near Queen’s College. It was designed by William Etheridge, and built by James Essex in 1749. It belongs to the Queen’s College and has been rebuilt on two occasions in 1866 and in 1905, but has kept it’s unique design.
The name ‘Mathematical Bridge’ came from it’s sophisticated engineering style. Although the bridge appears to be an arch, it is entirely made of straight timbers, which is a Chinese technique called tangential radial trussing.
Queens’ College was founded in 1448 by Margaret Anjou and refounded by queen Elizabeth Woodville in 1465. This dual foundation resulted a slight change in the spelling: “Queen’s” changed originally to “Queens’ ” in 1823.
By 1460 the library, chapel, gatehouse and President’s Lodge were completed and the chapel was licensed for service. In 1477 and 1484 Richard III and his wife, Anne Neville made large endowments to the college. Anne Neville became the third queen to be patroness of Queens’ College, making endowments, which were all taken away later by Henry VII.In the early 1600s many improvements were made and some new buildings were constructed, for example the Walnut Tree Building in 1618. In 1777, a fire in the Walnut Tree Building destroyed the upper floors completely , which were rebuilt between 1778 and 1782. In the winter of 1795 the college was badly flooded, reportedly waist-deep in the cloisters.