SP0189 : Galton Bridge, Smethwick

taken 3 years ago, near to Smethwick, Sandwell, Great Britain

Galton Bridge, Smethwick
Galton Bridge, Smethwick
This formed part of Thomas Telford's improvement of the Birmingham Canal and was built in 1829. The improvement incorporated the 3.6 mile long Smethwick Cutting, at the time one of the largest earthworks to have been carried out. The bridge carried the Smethwick Sandwell road over the deepest part of the cutting.

The main element of the bridge is a cast iron arch of six ribs, spanning 45.7 metres (150 feet) with a rise of 4.6 metres (15 feet) across the Smethwick Cutting of the new cut of the canal, at a clear height of some 20m above the water. As with many of the other bridges of the project, the ironwork was cast at Horseley Iron Works in Tipton.

The diagonal bracing of the ribs followed the pattern that Telford had used for his bridges over the Severn at Mythe and Holt Fleet. Unlike these two, which still carry modern traffic, Galton Bridge has not been subject to modern strengthening and is essentially original. A weight limit of 2 tons had been imposed prior to 1975, when continued increases in traffic resulted in closure to vehicles, continuing to serve as a pedestrian and cycle link (National Route 5). It was listed Grade II in 1972, and upgraded to Grade I in 1989.
The bridge is named after Samuel Galton, a member of the Lunar Society and a director of the Birmingham Canal Company.

The Listing includes the later arch over the London and North Western Railway's Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway, opened in 1852. This section repeats the parapet design of the original.

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SP0189, 188 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 5 September, 2019   (more nearby)
Thursday, 12 September, 2019
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Roads, Road transport  Canals 
Bridge (from Tags)
Road Over Canal 
Canal (from Tags)
Birmingham Canal Navigations 
Period (from Tags)
Early 19th Century 
Building Material (from Tags)
Cast Iron 
Date (from Tags)
Name (from Tags)
Thomas Telford 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0149 8933 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:30.1121N 1:58.7688W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0153 8932
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Other Tags
Grade I Listed 

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Image Type (about): close look 
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