Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,406 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Raheny Bridge

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near Dublin

No longer extant.

This was a small road bridge over the Dublin and Drogheda Railway, and is regarded as the first true iron lattice bridge. The responsible engineer, John Benjamin Macneill had become aware of American developments in lattice bridges made of timber, and decided to construct a small example in wrought iron. The bridge was of 84 ft span and 12 ft wide. The top and bottom chords were made from angle iron riveted to flat plates. The side trusses were made from flat plate 2½" by 3/8" set about 9" apart, at an angle of 45 degrees. There was a stringer at mid height on both girders. The main contractor was Messrs Perry of Dublin. The bridge paved the way for Macneill's much larger bridge to carry the railway over the Dublin Canal[1]

1844 'DUBLIN AND DROGHEDA RAILWAY ..... Near this [village of Lillester] is a beautiful bridge thrown over the railway ; it is formed of wrought iron, 84 feet span, 56 in elevation, and having a rise of only 18 inches. In its construction Dr. M'Neil adopted the principle from our enterprising transatlantic brethren, whose bridges are, however, of wood. It is supported by a succession of cross bars; and from its lightness and tasteful appearance, combined with strength, is well worthy of closer inspection than can be afforded by a railway glance. It was manufactured by Ringsend Iron Works. The construction was found so admirable that a bridge on the same plan has been completed for the canal at Dublin. This latter was manufactured at the foundry of our enterprising townsmen of the Drogheda Iron Works, and is still more complete than the other, being a perfect level on the surface, without any arch or rise. Near the bridge on the right, at Rosevale, there is another mechanical curiosity. The waters of a rivulet are received in an iron syphon, three feet in diameter, cast at the Drogheda Iron Works. Through this the stream is carried under the railway, and up to its level on the opposite bank. Further on the left you see the pretty little church of Coolock ....'[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'The Evolution of Iron Bridge Trusses to 1850' by J. G. James
  2. Dublin Monitor - Friday 12 April 1844