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Seán Heuston Bridge (Droichead Seán Heuston)

King's Bridge, Sarsfield Bridge

Seán Heuston Bridge (Droichead Seán Heuston)

Primary Photographer(s): Bob Dover

Bridge Documented: February 20, 2014

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Luas) Over River Liffey (An Life)
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath): Leinster (Laighin): Ireland (Éire)
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1828 By Builder/Contractor: Royal Phoenix Iron Works of Dublin, Ireland and Engineer/Design: George Papworth
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
98.4 Feet (30 Meters)
Structure Length
98.4 Feet (30 Meters)
Roadway Width
29.5 Feet (8.99 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This outstanding cast iron highway bridge was converted for tram use. It remains open for pedestrian use as well. The bridge bears the date 1821 on it, but this does not refer to its construction date, rather it refers to a visit by King George IV in 1821 (the bridge was originally named King's Bridge).

Bob Dover provided the following comments:

Constructed for the visit of King George IV in 1821, this lovely bridge near the Sean Heuston train station, the main train station in Dublin, is riotously decorated.  The closed spandrel is painted white, and has gilded decorations and crowns applied to it.  The construction date of 1821 is applied in gold numbers above the arch.  The railings are a beautiful geometric pattern, colored gold, and topped with a dark blue rail.  The lampposts are very ornate cast iron, topped with golden crowns.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Rating: Regional


Reg. Number: 50080033

Single-arch former road bridge, erected 1828, now carrying tram tracks over River Liffey. Segmental arch with border of anthemion and Prince of Wales Feathers, decorative panels to spandrels having wreath-enclosed crowns. Balustrade comprising tapered masonry piers and foliated cast-iron panels. Central pier to each parapet with date '1821' externally, inscribed plaque to interior, and gilded plinth over. Tapered carved granite piers having cast-iron lamp standards, splayed channelled granite abutment walls. Deck with tram tracks replaced 2003.

Designed by George Papworth, this elegant and well-composed bridge was named King's Bridge to commemorate a visit by George IV in 1821, and formerly had crowns on the plinths over the datestone. It was later renamed Sean Heuston in memory of one of the leaders executed following the 1916 Rising. The cast-iron spans, which are of technical interest, were cast by R. Robinson of the Phoenix Iron Works, Parkgate Street. Details such as spandrels, arch and balustrade are greatly enhanced by decorative cast-iron detailing, which provides a visual and textural contrast to the granite of the abutments, and is evidence of the skilled craftsmanship involved in decorative iron-work at the beginning of the nineteenth century.


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