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Lauder Foot Bridge, Dean Road, Kilmarnock

A Category C Listed Building in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

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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

Plus Code: 9C7QJG98+W7

Entry Name: Lauder Foot Bridge, Dean Road, Kilmarnock

Listing Name: Dean Road (Near), Lauder Foot Bridge

Listing Date: 1 August 2002

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396172

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48715

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmarnock

County: East Ayrshire

Town: Kilmarnock

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock East and Hurlford

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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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.

Statement of Interest

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.

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