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Grattan Bridge (Droichead Grattan)

Essex Bridge

Grattan Bridge (Droichead Grattan)

Primary Photographer(s): Bob Dover

Bridge Documented: February 20, 2014

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Parliament Street and Capel Street Over River Liffey (An Life)
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath): Leinster (Laighin): Ireland (Éire)
Structure Type
Stone Elliptical Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Stone Semicircular Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1755 By Builder/Contractor: George Semple
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This 1700s stone arch bridge was widened and had beautiful iron railings added to it in the 1870s. The reconstruction was built by Blinden B. Stoney and P. Neville. Cast iron on the bridge from this rehab was by Sirocco Foundries.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Rating: Regional


Reg. Number: 50060361

Five-arch granite bridge over River Liffey, foundations and piers being of bridge of 1753-5 and superstructure being rebuild of 1872. Three elliptical arches flanked by two narrower round arches, all with ashlar voussoirs. Ashlar granite spandrels, abutments and soffits, with piers fronted by V-shaped cut-waters. Cantilevered deck of wrought-iron girders with latticework parapets divided by panelled piers crowned with decorative cast-iron lamp standards embellished with entwined fish. Carries three lanes of traffic over Liffey, with wide pavement margins at either side.

One of several bridges over the River Liffey which have helped define the built environment of this area of central Dublin for several centuries, Grattan Bridge was constructed in 1875 to designs by Blinden B. Stoney, Engineer to the Port of Dublin, and is the third structure to have occupied this site. The first structure dated from from 1676, and was replaced in the 1750s by Essex Bridge, a stone structure erected to designs by George Semple. By the mid-nineteenth century Essex Bridge was deemed too narrow and access too steep, and the current bridge was commissioned. Architecturally, the bridge exhibits engineering technology and materials that are representative of the period, including the wrought-iron girder construction which facilitates the cantilevered decking, and decorative cast-iron lamp standards. The renaming of bridges along the Liffey is illustrative of changing cultural contexts within the city and beyond.


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