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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 712317

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NS56SE 444 58763 64785

Location formerly cited as NS 58763 64785.

Glasgow Bridge [NAT]

OS 1:1250 map, 1967.

For Telford's bridge and other predecessor bridges, see NS56SE 2159.

Glasgow Bridge, built 1894-9, Blyth and Westland, enginers (£129,500), replacing an earlier bridge designed by Thomas Telford, engineer. A seven-arched masonry bridge, with granite facing, part of which came from the old bridge. Each arch has three transverse arches, and the width of te bridge is 80ft [24.4m].

J R Hume 1974.

Glasgow (or Jamaica Street) Bridge. Built in 1895-9. Engineer Blyth and Westland of Edinburgh; contractor Blyth and Westland of Edinburgh; steel cylinders for foundations by Sir Wm Arrol and Co. It replaced a handsome seven-arched bridge in classical style by Thomas Telford, which was too narrow, its foundations too shallow, and the size of its arches inconvenient for shipping. Blyth and Westland therefore made a design of four larger arches with a roadway 100ft (30m) wide, but had to alter it to a virtual replica of the former bridge, with 80ft (24m) roadway, after 'an outcry in Glasgow against not retaining the beautiful lines of Telford's bridge' and objections from the Corporation to the estimated cost. The engineers, and doubtless the shipowners, thought it a very retrograde change.

The piers stand on concrete-filled steel cylinders sunk by the compressed-air method to a minimum depth of 23m (75ft) below the arch springings. Semicircular arches above low-water level link the heads of fourt cylinders to make up each pier. The piers, arches and facades of the bridge are of grey granite, much of it taken from the olds bridge and redressed, and the old balustrades and copestones were also redressed and polished. Only the pedestals over the piers depart from Telfords architectural treatment. Like the pilasters they replace, they are semi-octagonal in plan, but more bulky and with S-curved vertical profiles.

E Williamson, A Riches and M Higgs 1990.

This bridge carries a public road across the River Clyde, between Jamaica Street, Clyde Street, Custom House Quay and the Broomielaw (to the N), and Bridge Street and Carlton Place (to the S). It is situated at the downstream (W) end of the Upper Harbour, and its the easternmost of the Central Glasgow group of bridges, the others being the approach viaducts (NS56SE 140.00) to Central Station, and the King George V Bridge (NS 56SE 520). The river here forms the boundary between the civil parishes of Glasgow (to the N) and Govan (to the S).

The location cited defines the centre of the main span. The available map evidence indicates that the bridge extends from NS 58782 64868 to NS 58745 64710.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 19 December 2005.

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