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Jamaica Street Bridge

Glasgow University Archive Services, Building Photographs

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Jamaica Street Bridge

Jamaica Street (or Glasgow) Bridge looking north, 1905.

The bridge featured in the photograph was the third to be built across the River Clyde at the foot of Jamaica Street. The first, nicknamed the "Bonny Brig" and completed in 1772, was 500 feet long, 32 feet wide, and had seven arches. This bridge was soon struggling to cope with the rapid increase in traffic. It was replaced in 1836 with another seven-arch bridge, 560 feet long and 60 feet wide, designed by Thomas Telford. The volume of traffic measured in one December week in 1836 amounted to 20,826 pedestrians, 253 horse-riders, 160 carriages, 634 carts and 166 wheelbarrows.

In 1894 it was decided to replace Telford's bridge, but such was the affection felt for it that its granite facings, balustrades and copestones were recovered and incorporated in the structure of its replacement. Although the width of the new bridge was increased to 80 feet, the number of arches was limited to the "traditional" seven. The Jamaica Street Bridge opened in 1899, and still carries much of the city's cross-river traffic.

Reference: Glasgow University Archive Services, PHU64/36

University of Glasgow

Bonny Brig, bridges, Broomielaw Bridge, Glasgow Bridge, horses and carriages, horses and carts, Jamaica Street Bridge, River Clyde, trams

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