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Tubular Railway Bridge

A Grade I Listed Building in Conwy, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.2802 / 53°16'48"N

Longitude: -3.8238 / 3°49'25"W

OS Eastings: 278499

OS Northings: 377467

OS Grid: SH784774

Mapcode National: GBR 1ZQH.YV

Mapcode Global: WH654.7TD5

Entry Name: Tubular Railway Bridge

Listing Date: 23 September 1950

Last Amended: 5 May 2006

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3236

Building Class: Transport

Location: Spanning Afon Conwy on the E side of the castle and S of the modern road and suspension bridges.

County: Conwy

Town: Conwy

Community: Conwy

Community: Conwy

Locality: Afon Conwy

Built-Up Area: Conwy

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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On the Chester-Holyhead Railway, built 1846-49 by Robert Stephenson, in collaboration with William Fairbairn and E. Hodgkinson. The architect was Francis Thompson, the contractor William Evans. It was originally intended to be a suspension bridge. The bridge, like Stephenson's contemporary Britannia Bridge spanning the Menai Strait, pioneered wrought-iron box-girder construction. Intermediate piers were added in 1899.


A tubular railway bridge between ashlar rectangular castellated towers (originally intended for carrying the chains of a suspension bridge), with blind arrow loops, and an embattled parapet on corbelled machicolations. Lower round turrets to the outer corners have a Lombard frieze to the parapet, and smaller corbelled round turrets to the inner corners have a Lombard frieze to conical caps. The outer sides have a pair of round-headed arches with continuous chamfer. On the inner sides are vents with latticework iron grilles above the girders.
The deck is double-track, each track having its own tubular girder construction, and incorporating a travelling crane. Set back from each end are 2 round concrete-filled cast-iron piers added in 1899.
The approach on the E side has a rock-faced coped wall to a polygonal terminal pier. Beyond, the NE side has a later plainer wall.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade I as a major work of C19 civil engineering of national importance.
Scheduled Ancient Monument CN167

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