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Coalport Bridge

Preen's Eddy Bridge

Coalport Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 9, 2018

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Coalport Road Over River Severn
Coalport: West Midlands, England: United Kingdom
Structure Type
Metal (Cast Iron) Hingeless Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1818 By Builder/Contractor: Coalbrookdale Company of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England and John Onions
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
110.0 Feet (33.5 Meters)
Structure Length
160.0 Feet (48.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge was built in 1818 using three iron ribs from the previous 1799 bridge, and therefore retains the essential design of the 1799 bridge. Thus, although most sources describe this as a "bridge built in 1818" it can be thought of as the product of 1799 engineering thinking and design. In this sense, it is one of the oldest iron bridges in the UK, and a good comparison to the first such bridge, the nearby Iron Bridge.

The reason for the 1818 reconstruction is that one half of the original three arch ribs cracked and it was determined that this was a design (rather than materials) problem, and as such a stronger bridge using the surviving 1799 ribs, but with two more ribs added, would address the problem. It appears the cracked half of the 1799 rib was replaced, two new ribs were cast, and then the remaining two and a half 1799 arch ribs were reused. Unused buttresses or brackets can be seen on the top of the arch ribs that are assumed to be the original 1799 ribs. This indicates that the design was changed slightly when the bridge was rebuilt in 1818.

Bridge lengths given are very rough estimates.

Graces Guide has more information.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Listed At: Grade II*


List Entry Number:  1206658 (Listed Building and 1006235 (Scheduled Monument)

Dated 1818. Cast-iron road bridge over River Severn. Cast at the Coalbrookdale Ironworks. Single span segmental arch on brick abutments from an earlier bridge. Openwork cast-iron arch and ornate cast-iron parapet balustrade. Two semi-circular plaques over the centre of the parapets record the name of the bridge and the date of erection.


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