A wooden bridge over the Liffey

The Freeman’s Journal of 30 August 1873 says that a member of the crew of a canal boat, travelling on the Liffey, fell overboard but managed to swim ashore and climb one of the ladders up the quay wall to dry land. It says that the accident occurred as the boat was “passing under the wooden bridge across the Liffey”. I didn’t know there was one and would be glad to learn more about it, especially its location.

5 responses to “A wooden bridge over the Liffey

  1. Maybe the Hapenny Bridge, if the surface was originally wooden planks?

  2. I don’t know, but given that it was famous as being made of cast iron in Coalbrookdake, I suspect not.

    A quick look in J W de Courcy’s The Liffey in Dublin [Gill and Macmillan, Dublin 1996] shows that, while Grattan Bridge was being rebuilt between 1872 and 1875,

    […] a temporary timber bridge of 11 spans, which took nine weeks to build, was provided opposite Swift’s Row, to carry all traffic. A pedestrian footbridge was provided immediately beside the main bridge site.

    So what was a canal boat doing that far up the Liffey?


  3. Pingback: Canal boat sunk on the Liffey | Irish waterways history

  4. Historically, what is now Rory O’More Bridge was known as the “Wooden Bridge”, there having been three different wooden bridges at this site with the first in 1670, second in 1682 and third in 1693. It was replaced by a stone bridge c. 1704. (The Liffey in Dublin – J W de Courcy p 335-6). However, it is possible the name stuck the same way that the Halfpenny Bridge has, nothwithstanding that there has not been a toll on same since 1916.

  5. I noted that in de Courcy and also noted the persistence of old names for the Hapenny Bridge (few people in Limerick talk of Wellesley Bridge, alas), but the Grattan possibility seemed more likely as there was actually a wooden bridge there at the time. Still, I agree it’s not definitive.

    In a later post I reported a possible reason for the canal boat’s presence upstream.


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