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Elvanfoot, Suspension Bridge

Suspension Bridge (20th Century)

Site Name Elvanfoot, Suspension Bridge

Classification Suspension Bridge (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) River Clyde

Canmore ID 47308

Site Number NS91NE 28

NGR NS 95399 17601

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Crawford
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NS91NE 28 95399 17601

(Suspension bridge of wire rope and truss deck type: location cited as NS 954 176). ?early 20th century. Lattice-girder pylons, wire-rope cables, rod suspenders, lattice truss span, wooden deck. Span about 125 ft (38.1m). Public footbridge.

J R Hume 1977b.

Site Management (4 November 2008)

Pedestrian suspension bridge of ambitious span. (approx 125ft/38.5m) over River Clyde, a circa 1900 replacement of the 17th century masonry bridge destroyed by flooding in 1890s. (This route is the ancient, pre-Telford, north-south road).

Lattice truss span supported from lattice girder pylons, with wire-rope cables and stell rod suspenders. Steelwork bears letteirng "Lanarkshire Streel Co Ltd", and "Rowell/London" at cable tensioning points. Timber decking. Abutments are those of pre-existing bridge (bearing evidence of repairs carried out over the years), of rubble and ashlar; concrete facing and bedding co-eval with existing bridge.

Fragments of early parapets, ashlar-coped and unequally skewed on plan, survive on west bank; coping over north parapet is possibly original (ie 17th century); 19th century coping over south parapet. Approach on east bank is wider, and heightened close to level of parapet coping. On each bank, steel steps leading up to bridge deck. (Historic Environment Scotland)

Elvanfoot Bridge designed by Rowell & Co, was constructed in the 1920s to replace an earlier masonry bridge. This category B listed structure is the highest crossing point on the course of the River Clyde.(SBPT)


Note (April 2012)

This light, single-span, wrought-iron rope and truss deck type suspension footbridge with a timber deck crosses the River Clyde some 3.0km south of Crawford. It is supported on each bank on the remaining piers of the now destroyed masonry bridge depicted and named ‘Old Bridge’ on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6-inch map (Lanarkshire, 1864, sheet XLVII) linking Newton House on the east bank to the village of Elvanfoot on the west bank.

The bridge has an overall span of about 40.0m (131 feet). The deck is 1.4m (4 feet 7 inches) in width. There are 19 sets of hangars suspended from two suspension cables. One back-stay on either side of the portals anchors the system to the bank, secured to concrete blocks further overlain by a concrete slab at the west end (see DP127252). The bridge portals are of lattice and cross-brace design with a finial above each cable saddle. The concrete flanking wall at the west end approach stairs is also probably from the 1920s.

The bridge is probably by David Rowell and Company of Westminster (1855-1970) fabricators of wrought iron and wire-rope suspension footbridges (whose name appears on the anchor stays (see DP 127254)). This bridge bears a striking resemblance to other Rowell bridges, especially Daly’s Bridge, Cork City, Eire (1927) and less so other Rowell examples including Porthill Bridge, Shrewsbury, Shropshire (1922) and the Bodie Creek Suspension Bridge, near Goose Green, Falkland Islands (built 1925 from a pre-fabricated kit).

This bridge is closed to pedestrians and so the east bank portal was not be accessed on the day of visit.

Visited by RCAHMS (MMD), April 2012.


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