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Royal Albert Bridge and Seventeen Approach Spans

A Grade I Listed Building in Saltash, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4077 / 50°24'27"N

Longitude: -4.204 / 4°12'14"W

OS Eastings: 243480

OS Northings: 58748

OS Grid: SX434587

Mapcode National: GBR R05.69

Mapcode Global: FRA 272Z.3ZM

Entry Name: Royal Albert Bridge and Seventeen Approach Spans

Listing Date: 17 January 1952

Last Amended: 22 November 1982

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1159292

English Heritage Legacy ID: 60461

Location: Saltash, Cornwall, PL12

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Saltash

Built-Up Area: Saltash

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Saltash

Church of England Diocese: Truro

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Listing Text

SX 4358 6/25

Royal Albert Bridge and seventeen approach spans
(formerly listed as Royal Albert Bridge (the part within the Borough of Saltash)) -



Railway bridge over River Tamar by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Cornwall Railway while it was leased to the Great Western Railway. Begun 1848, restarted 1854 and completed 1859, I K Brunel, the engineer, being first across, although on the verge of death. Granite built piers, the land piers paired, the outer water piers solid on oval plinths, the central pier and group of four octagonal piers linked by trelliswork. The two main spans are 135 metres each and are carried by an ingenious form of suspension (by cast iron segmental tubes) - the only one of its kind surviving to carry a railway. In engineering terms, it is known as a bowstring tubular plate girder bridge, a combination of suspension and arches structure, the two tubular arches, with outward thrust onto the abutments, counteracting the inward drag of the chains. The portals on the outer river piers are in pylon style, ashlar faced, with tall elliptical arches in square recesses. The Cornish side has raised lettering above the arch "I K Brunel Engineer 1859". There are, in all, seventeen approach spans (on both sides), the Cornish side ones towering above what remains of the inner town on the quay, curve south-west towards the station. The bridge is 51 metres above high water mark to the top of the tubes (the Admiralty specified 30 metres mast clearance). It cost under £225,000. At the time, and now, it was regarded as a triumph of engineering.

The asset was previously listed twice also at List entry 1386355. That entry was removed from the List on 22 September 2016.

This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 22 September 2016.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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