Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Whitchurch Suspension Bridge (Shropshire)

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4. This shows the riveted deck beam, T-section suspender and its connection to T-section deck support bar, and long and short stanchions for handrails
5. The steel channel section parts are presumably modern additions
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9. Joint between wooden column and cross beam
10. The wooden columns are pin jointed at the base

This is an unusual Victorian suspension footbridge to the north of Whitchurch Station, located off Black Park Road (near Travis Perkins builders' merchants).

Built for (or by?) the London and North Western Railway c.1872.

Grade II listed. For map, see British Listed Buildings website.

The chains are wrought iron. There are several unusual constructional features. The deck beams are formed from wrought iron plates riveted to angle iron. The deck is supported on T-section iron bars, and also by wooden cross beams between the tower columns. The suspender bars are T-section iron, riveted to the cross beams (photo 2). In addition there are diagonal tie bars whose upper end is connected to the pin which connects suspension chain links and hangers, while the bottom end is connected to the bottom of the adjacent suspender bar and also to the deck beam. An additional pair of chain links is connected to the suspension chain pin at mid span, and these links are connected to the bottom of the adjacent suspender bars, providing X-bracing between these suspender bars (photo 3).

At the higher parts of the suspension chain, the chain link 'pins' are actually round bars which span the full width of the chain, and cross bracing is provided here by slender rods with forged eyes at the ends (photo 7). The chain links either side of the mid point are single bars (photo 3), while elsewhere they are in pairs. The pairs are either clamped together by U-bolts or separated by a gap of about 2" (see photo 5)

The wooden columns are 13" square. The span between the towers is 120 ft, and the side spans 27 ft long.[1]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'Civil Engineering Heritage - West Midlands' by Roger Cragg, Phillimore, 2010