Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bullen's Bridge (Swindon)

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This bridge was an early example of an iron lattice girder bridge. Photo here.

Some sources state that the bridge was thought to have been built in the USA and exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition. Another source suggested that it was made in Chippenham. The 1894 report (extract below) supports the 1851 date. We also know that R. Brotherhood of Chippenham exhibited a lattice girder bridge at the 1851 exhibition, 'on, we belive, an American patent. ..... One good feature in the bridge is, that the roadway is placed a considerable distance above the tension bars....'[1]. Photographs show that the roadway on Bullen's bridge was at mid-depth of the girders.

1894 '.... the Local Board undertook to widen the old Bullen's bridge, which was very narrow, and which had been in existence since 1851.'[2]

The 1922/3 O.S. 25" map here shows Bullen's Bridge carrying Sheppard Street across the disused canal. Sheppard Street continued north eastwards to the south side of the Swindon station.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Morning Herald (London) - Saturday 24 May 1851
  2. Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle - Saturday 19 May 1894