Survey Data

Reg No

15004129


Rating

National


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural Artistic Social Technical


Original Use

Bridge


In Use As

Bridge


Date

1845 - 1851


Coordinates

203649, 241879


Date Recorded

08/09/2004


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Six-span wrought-iron railway bridge, built c.1850, resting on six pairs of iron Doric shafts, with the two widest spans over the river having latticed elliptical girders. The piers at either end are constructed of rusticated limestone. Located to the north of Athlone Town centre.

Appraisal

This handsome bridge is a magnificent statement of the great Victorian period of industrial expansion and of the age of Brunel. It is one of the best examples of its type and date to be found in Ireland. It was built by the Midland Great Western Railway Company to serve the Dublin Broadstone to Galway line, and opened in 1851. The engineer on the project was G.W. Hemans and Fox Henderson and Co. were the principal contractors involved. Compressed air was used when sinking the cylinders to form the piers, the first time such a technique was used in Ireland. The middle section was originally designed to open to allow the passing of river traffic along the Shannon Navigation. This was changed to a fixed section in 1972.