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© Mr W. Wesley Colwill

IoE Number: 60461
Photographer: Mr W. Wesley Colwill
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 17 January 1952
Date of last amendment: 22 November 1982
Grade I

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RIVERSIDE5155Royal Albert Bridge(formerly listed as RoyalAlbert Bridge (the part within

RIVERSIDE 1. 5155 Royal Albert Bridge (formerly listed as Royal Albert Bridge (the part within the Borough of Saltash)) - and 17 approach spans SX 4358 6/25 17.1.52 GV 2. On the common boundary of the Parish of Saltash, Cornwall and the City of Plymouth, Devon, and part in Plymouth previously listed on 25 January 1954. The main rail link with the Duchy. Begun 1848, restarted 1854 and completed 1859, I K Brunel, the engineer, being first across, although on the verge of death. Granite built piers, the land piers paired, the outer water piers solid on oval plinths, the central pier and group of 4 octagonal piers linked by trelliswork. The 2 main spans are 445 ft each and are carried by an ingenious form of suspension (by cast iron segmental tubes) - the only one of its kind surviving to carry a railway. In engineering terms, it is known as a bowstring tubular plate girder bridge, a combination of suspension and arches structure, the 2 tubular arches, with outward thrust onto the abutments, counteracting the inward drag of the chains. The portals on the outer river piers are in pylon style, ashlar faced, with tall eliptical arches in square recesses. The Cornish side has raised lettering above the arch " I K Brunel Engineer 1859". There are, in all, 17 approach spans (on both sides), the Cornish side ones towering above what remains of the inner town on the quay, curve south-west towards the station. The bridge is 168 ft above high water mark to the top of the tubes (the Admiralty specified 100 ft mast clearance). It cost under £225,000. At the time, and now, it was regarded as a triumph of engineering. For details see A Vaughan " A Pictorial Record of Great Western Architecture".

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