A 242-year-old toll bridge in England has been sold for $1.8m to an anonymous bidder.

The Swinford Toll Bridge spanning the stretch of the River Thames near Oxford in southern England has been sold by auction house Allsop.

Under a centuries-old act of parliament, the owner can earn tax-free income from the 1767 built bridge, which carries just under 4 million vehicles a year, with toll charges starting at just 5p for cars.

Allsop said the auction drew enormous global interest, with potential buyers from Australia, Europe, Jamaica and the US.

The auction, however, faced opposition from the people of the area who are demanding the local government authority, the Oxfordshire County Council, buy the bridge near the village of Eynsham.

The annual income from the bridge recently totalled £114,000 after operating costs are met, Allsop said.