|Artist||C. Rosenberg and Samuel Ireland|
|Published||Pub. for S. Ireland May 1 1799|
|Dimensions||Image 110 x 164 mm, Sheet 152 x 234 mm|
A view of the medieval Culham bridge, near Abingdon, from Samuel Ireland's Picturesque Views on the River Thames from its source in Gloucestershire to the Nore. A group in a rowboat pass under the bridge's central arch, watched by a pair of horned cattle on the bank of the waterway. In the distance, the tower of a parish church can be seen. Culham bridge was built in the 15th century to replace the ancient ford of Culham Hythe. An important factor in the improvement of trade to the Abingdon area, the bridge was also of strategic importance in the English Civil War, when it was the location for a battle to secure Royalist food convoys from harassment by Parliamentarian troops. The bridge crosses Swift Ditch, which until the building of Abingdon Lock, was the main navigable channel of the Thames.
Samuel Ireland (21st May 1744 - July 1800) was a British engraver, author, and collector of art and rare books, who specialised in series of 'Picturesque Views' with a particular focus on British rivers and waterways. In addition to his work as a topographical artist, he also etched a number of plates after Hogarth, Mortimer, and John Hamilton. His professional reputation was left in shambles following his unfortunate championing of a widely publicised hoax. A great admirer of Shakespeare, Ireland enthusiastically announced the discovery of a cache of Shakespeare manuscripts, which, after professional scrutiny, were proved to be forgeries created by his own son, William Ireland.