Clifton Suspension Bridge

Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
st 72 STG140 4

Image of Clifton Suspension Bridge, as seen from the River Avon

Woven on silk:-

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-

Clifton Suspension Bridge

cm deep by cm wide

cm high by cm wide

by Austin Sprake:
View of the bridge as completed in 1864. 

by Geoffrey Godden:
A landscape view of the famous suspension bridge over the Avon Gorge at Bristol - completed and opened in December 1864 and still serving as a vital road link across the river.
This rare Stevengraph was first listed on label 31+31 of c. 1895 but was discontinued from label 31 +32 of c. 1899 and never reappeared on subsequent labels. It is found on type C card-mounts - normally on mount C3 - and its back-label is of story-type, giving the history of this bridge, which cost approximately 100,000.

Other comments:

Rear story label of the Clifton Suspension Bridge silk

        The idea of a bridge was first conceived by Willian Vick, who bequeathed to
the Merchant Venturers in 1753 1000, which was to accumulate to 10,000, and
then a stone bridge was to be erected, to join Clifton to the Leigh Woods side.

        It was not until the year 1830 that application to Parliament was made for
powers to construct this bridge, and not until six years later, in August 1836, that the
foundation of the Leigh Woods abutment was laid. This was completed about four years
later, and the Clifton side masonry was then commenced. Over 40,000 had now been
spent in the mere construction of these abutments, and no furhter funds being forth-
coming, the work had to be abandoned,

        In 1861 however the present Suspension Bridge Company was formed, and the
work again proceeded with ; so that in December, 1864, the bridge was opened with
great rejoicing, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, the Bishop of the Diocese, the
Mayor and other Corporate officials, &c, taking part in the proceedings,

        The floor is 245 feet above high water mark ; the suspension chains are securely
imbedded in the sold rock on each side some 70 feet underground ; 4,200 links compose
its chain - each link 24 feet long, 7 inches across, and one inch in thickness ; the
suspension rods are 162 in number, varying in length from 60 feet to 3 feet, and 15/8 in.
in diameter. The weight of the bridge is about 1,500 tons, and the cost reached
about 100,000.



Back to List of Pictures
Back to Stevengraphs

This page was created on 14 December 2003
new image added 7 February 2010 © Peter Daws
Web site address: