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Ashton Swing Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Bristol, City of Bristol

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Latitude: 51.4461 / 51°26'45"N

Longitude: -2.6219 / 2°37'18"W

OS Eastings: 356879

OS Northings: 172083

OS Grid: ST568720

Mapcode National: GBR C2N.2G

Mapcode Global: VH88M.HXS9

Plus Code: 9C3VC9WH+C7

Entry Name: Ashton Swing Bridge

Listing Date: 24 May 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1380341

English Heritage Legacy ID: 480343

ID on this website: 101380341

Location: Hotwells, Bristol, BS1

County: City of Bristol

Electoral Ward/Division: Hotwells and Harbourside

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bristol

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bristol

Church of England Parish: Clifton Holy Trinity with St Andrew the Less and St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Tagged with: Bridge Road bridge Swing bridge Railway bridge

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901-1/41/10087 Ashton Swing Bridge


Railway and road hydraulic swing bridge, nowfixed. 1905-6 for Bristol Corporation and the Great Western Railway, chief engineer j.C.lnglis, contractor john Lysaght and Co of Bristol, hydraulic machinery by Armstrong Whitworth and Co. Steel, with squared rock faced limestone abutments. Two piers with the southern one supporting the swinging apparatus. Enormous Whipple Murphy truss swinging span weighing some 1000 tons which carried a double track line to the north bank of the Avon New Cut thus opening up the south side of the Floating Harbour to rail traffic as well as the north bank via the Cumberland Basin bridge.
History: This bridge was constructed as a part of the Bristol Harbour lines from the Portishead branch to Canon's Marsh and Wapping' Wharf which opened on 4-10-1906. It was a joint initiative by the City and the GWR but the great cost of ?70,000 fell mainly on the Corporation as the railway had agreed to pay only ?18,000, which was the first estimate. It originally carried a road, and the operating cabin at the top of the girder but there is now little sign of this; it still carries a single rail track. It was operated hydraulically from the dock system and used 182 gallons of water a time. It was one of the last installations added to the docks hydraulic system. In early years it was swung on average 10 times a day, but this soon declined and it has not been swung since 1936. Bristol Corporation rescinded the obligation on the railway to maintain it as an opening bridge in 1951. The road deck and operating cabin were removed following the completion of the new road system associated with the Plimsoll Bridge in 1965. It is an unusual example of a combined road/rail swing bridge.
References: E.T.MacDermot, History of the Great Western Railway, Ian Allan, revised ed. 1964,
Vol II, p 228.
John Lord and Jem Southam, The Floating Harbour, The Redcliffe Press, 1983, pps 47-8,64-5,77-8.

Listing NGR: ST5687972083

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