Before the Second Bridge ...
... you took the ferry.
Most of the substantial slipway remains just beyond the Ferry Inn.
Report from 1844:-
On Tuesday last about half past two in the afternoon the passage boat "Dispatch" whilst beating across from the Bristol to the Monmouthshire side of the Severn, having on board five persons, about mid-way was gallantly breasting the waves, when she encountered a squall, so resistless as to sink her. The catastrophe was the event of moments, and was distinctly seen by persons in the Passage House.
The little boats could hold an absolute squashed-up maximum of 19 carefully sardine-style packed cars (more usually 17) and three vessels maintained the service at busy times.
The Severn Princess, shown here at her launch in 1959 ...
Tomorrow, however, we begin our review of bus services on and near the Severn Bridge.
**AGH in Welsh, Ail Groesfan Hafren [for non-welsh speakers, note that the word for "crossing" is "croesfan", plural "croesfannau", which suffers from the dreaded consonant change to make "groesfan".]