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Latitude: 55.6198 / 55°37'11"N
Longitude: -4.4844 / 4°29'3"W
OS Eastings: 243649
OS Northings: 639051
OS Grid: NS436390
Mapcode National: GBR 3H.LTYL
Mapcode Global: WH3QB.20VL
Entry Name: Dean Road (Near), Lauder Foot Bridge
Listing Date: 1 August 2002
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396172
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48715
Building Class: Cultural
County: East Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock East and Hurlford
Traditional County: Ayrshire
1905. Steel cable suspension bridge with tubular pylon end supports with spiked ball finials and latticed steel decorative arch between. Later stone retaining walls concealing original squared piers. Wire rope and steel railings with later mesh infill. 3 Concrete strengthening cutwater piers installed following collapse on opening. Steel Y-plan support with cross brace inset into each supporting structure of bridge, now on retaining girders.
This is a good example of a small pedestrian suspension footbridge demonstrating good ironwork detailing. The bridge is in the style of Louis Harper from Aberdeen who invented a pedestrian bridge with a unique tension system and arched deck. Only a few Harper bridges survive in Scotland.
The bridge is centrally sited between the ford and the weir / sluice at Dean Park. A bridge was necessary for foot passengers who found crossing the ford posed the danger of being swept away or getting wet. There was no bridge at Beansburn that crossed the Kilmarnock Water, the nearest one being in the industrial area in Townholm. A new bridge would also provide a shorter route from the increasingly urbanised top of the town to Kay Park, the Cemetery and the area south of the railway line. The man who campaigned for the building of the bridge was David Lauder who owned "Lauder's Emporium" on King Street.
The bridge we see today is not in its original form as it collapsed on the day it was opened. The civic party arrived in trams and proceeded onto the bridge to perform the opening ceremony. After the ribbon was cut and the civic dignitaries crossed, the public crowded onto the bridge from each side until the metal suspension ropes could not take the weight. They snapped and the bridge, with all its visitors, slid gently into the Kilmarnock Water. There were minor injuries, but no one was killed. The bridge was later strengthened from beneath by the addition of stone and concrete cutwaters supporting metal struts to hold the walkway. Although not technically a suspension bridge anymore, it is still used by foot passengers to get from Beansburn to the New Farm Loch residential areas.
The Harper Bridges with rolled pylons ends were made from 1893-1898, following that date the pylons were made of steel lattice. The fact that this bridge is of a later date but an earlier design suggests that it may be a reinterpretation of the famous Harper Bridge design by a local manufacturer.
Other nearby listed buildings