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British Industrial History

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Movable Bridges: Dublin

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1860: George's Dock, North Wall. Balance rolling bridge constructed in 1860 by Turner and Gibson of Hammersmith Foundry, Dublin. Designed and patented by Michael Kenny, foreman at the Oxmantown Foundry. Crossed a waterway 47 ft wide.[1] [2] [3]

1879: Butt Bridge crossed the Liffey near Beresford Place. Built 1879. Designed by by Bindon Blood Stoney; General contractor J Doherty; ironwork supplied by Skerne Ironworks Co [4]. Drawing and brief description here[5]. The design allowed for replacement of the swinging section by a masonry arch. The bridge was decommissioned in 1888. New masonry arch span built, and opened in 1932 [6].

1912: Scherzer Bridges, North Wall Quay. Twin bascule bridges [7]

Movable bridges over the Royal Canal

See here for an excellent summary of the various movable bridges which have spanned the Royal Canal, Dublin.[8], from which we find:-

A remarkable bascule bridge designed in 1878 by Bindon Blood Stoney to carry a short branch of the Midland Great Western railway of Ireland across the Royal Canal, immediately below Newcomen bridge at the very oblique angle of 25°. Although the canal is only 15 feet wide, the bridge was 40 feet long on the skew. The rails were 2 to 3 feet above the canal's water level, and to allow passage of boats, the bridge was lifted 8 to 13 feet (according to the height of the deck load) so as to permit the boat to pass. This bridge was replaced in recent times by a 'four poster' skew lift bridge constructed by Somers Railway Engineering. This bridge remains in use.

The Spencer Bridge or Sheriff Street Bridge carrying Sheriff Street over Spencer Dock was described as a swivel bridge when opened in 1873. It was designed by James Price, and a wooden buoy 10ft (19 ft?) diameter and 10ft deep supported 95% of the weight of the movable span. It could be opened in about 3 minutes [9]. Replaced in 1941 by a lifting bridge (drawbridge). Recent photos here.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Dublin Builder, 5 March 1860
  2. The Dublin Builder, 2 April 1860
  3. [1] Archiseek: 1860 – Balance Rolling Bridge, George’s Dock, North Wall, Dublin (includes images)
  4. [2]'The Engineer' 21st March 1879
  5. [3] archiseek: 1879 – Design for Swing Bridge, Dublin
  6. [4] Project history of Dublin’s River Liffey Bridges by M Phillips and A Hamilton 2003
  7. [5] Archiseek: Scherzer Bridges, North Wall Quay, Dublin
  8. [6] Irish waterways history: 'Effin Bridge: its predecessors' by Brian J Goggin
  9. Freeman's Journal, 2 October 1872