Rushmere Bridge represents the first point on the Hundred River that was suitable for a road crossing. Latymer Dam, to the East, which now carries the modern A12 across the valley of the Hundred River, was a relatively modern development associated with the draining of large tracts of estuarine marshland. The Rushmere crossing is therefore an important historical feature which determined north-south communications from the Suffolk coastlands to the Waveney Valley. It carries an ancient road from Frostenden, due north, passing within a few yards of Wrentham and Henstead churches, which were once village centres. Both churches are now relatively isolated by the A12 trunk road. This old road branches at the Rushmere crossing, going left to Beccles and right to Yarmouth through Carlton Colville. The name (Carlton) of the latter settlement indicates that it was an important late Saxon administrative centre.

The following engraving depicts an 18th century view from Rushmere, south across a wooden bridge, with the property in Henstead known today as The Grange on the right.