In 1830 a competition was held to gather designs for a bridge over the River Avon. Brunel won the competition and work began to build the 214 metre long Clifton Suspension Bridge. The original design featured ornamental stone lions which would have been situated on the top of each of the piers. The foundation stone was laid in 1836 and the two piers were completed (without the lions). Due to lack of financial resources at this time, the rest of the construction suffered delays and work on it was not resumed until some years later. Sadly, the next stage of the construction began in 1859 after Brunel's death and the bridge was not completed until five years later in 1864. Alterations were made to the original plans and a local landowner paid for the bridge to be widened in order that he could drive his carriage over it. More recently, huge chambers have been discovered under the stone abutment on the Somerset side of the bridge. Some of these chambers are up to 11 metres high. It had been assumed for many years that the supports bearing the bridge were of solid stone. These chambers, under the south tower of Leigh Woods, are now being opened up permanently.
Home Latest news Collections Gallery About Jayne Press archive Links Retailers Contact Jayne