Survey Data

Reg No

13402341


Rating

Regional


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural Technical


Original Use

Bridge


In Use As

Bridge


Date

1810 - 1820


Coordinates

221424, 259128


Date Recorded

24/08/2005


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Single-arch canal bridge carrying road over Royal Canal, built c. 1815, having flat road deck. Elliptical-headed arch with dressed ashlar limestone voussoirs and dressed ashlar limestone masonry to barrel. Dressed ashlar limestone construction to spandrel walls, with cut limestone string course at road/deck level. Dressed ashlar limestone construction to parapets (formerly rendered) with curving ends terminated in dressed ashlar limestone piers (on square-plan). Rubble limestone construction to inner faces of parapets. Dressed limestone coping over parapet walls. Cut limestone name plaques (on square-plan) having moulded raised margins to outer faces of parapets inscribed 'Draper's Bridge'. Dressed limestone retaining walls to canal banks (north and south). Rubble limestone wing walls to ends of bridge, rounded dressed limestone coping over wing walls in places. Located to the southeast of Taghshinny, and to the west of Abbeyshrule. Canal lock (13402342) and associated canal lock keeper's house (13402343) adjacent to the east and southeast respectively.

Appraisal

A typically well-built canal bridge, which is a valuable part of the extensive canal-related built and industrial heritage of County Longford. This bridge is of a different design than the majority of other canal bridges along the main branch of the Royal Canal in County Longford. It is also built using high quality dressed limestone masonry as opposed to the more regularly encounter rubble stone construction, and the profile of the arch also differs from the norm. Although humble in form, this structure has a simple and functional elegance. It is robustly built in good-quality stone masonry, which is testament to the long-term ambitions of the Directors General of Inland Navigation (who took over responsibility for the Royal Canal following the dissolution of the Royal Canal Company in 1813) at the start of the nineteenth century. It was probably built to designs by John Killaly (1766 - 1832), the engineer responsible for the construction of the Royal Canal between Coolnahay to Cloondara, which started in 1814 and was completed in 1817 (28 years after the canal work was started in Dublin). The main contractors involved were Henry, Mullins and McMahon. It forms part of a group of canal structures at Draper's Bridge along with the canal lock (13402342) and the associated lock keeper's house (13402343) adjacent to the east. This bridge is named after Samuel Draper, who was Secretary to The Royal Canal Company during the construction of the canal.