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Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sepia Saturday - Bridges with History

Each week Sepia Saturday encourages bloggers to record their family history through photographs.  This week's theme shows a riverside scene featuring a rowing boat and bridge.  I could only come up with two items linked to my family history, so am also showing from my own collection some photographs of bridges with historic connections.
My father and mother, John Weston and Kathleen Danson - taken in 1937  at Kirby
Lonsdale, where they got engaged.  This remained one of their favourite spots to visit.
 Kirby Lonsdale in Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District is a fascinating small town  with   a mix of  18th-century buildings and stone cottages huddled around quaint cobbled courtyards and narrow alleyways with names such as Salt Pie Lane and Jingling Lane.  The town is noted for the its three span Devil's Bridge, first built across the River Lune c.1370. 

My father  grew up in the village of Brosely, near Ironbridge, Shropshire, known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution with  the world's first ever cast iron bridge, built in 1779   over the River Severn. Dad's father worked at the power house at Coalbrookdale, which meant a 35 minute walk each way each day.  The local historical society has been particularly helpful in my family history. The Ironbridge Gorge is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.   Photograph taken by my brother. Chris Weston.

The 19 span Leaderfoot Railway Viaduct  is 3 miles from my home and crosses over the River Tweed, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders.  It  was built in 1863, with trains running until the line closed in  1965.  The structure is now in the care of Historic Scotland.     A Roman bridge once crossed the Tweed here, conveying Dere Street north from the nearby fort of Trimontium. 

Old Bridge, Earlston, Scottish Borders, built 1737  over the Leader Water which
joins the famous River Tweed at Leaderfoot (above).  A favourite walk for the family. 

 The Skye Road Bridge.  No - I know the bridge cannot be called historic, as it only opened in 1995, but the island is an iconic  symbol of Scotland's history.  The bridge across Loch Alsh links Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland with Kyleakin on Skye  with one pillar  on the small island of Eilean Ban.  And if you  hanker after the romantic route to Skye,  you can still cross by ferry from Mallaig to the south of the island at Armadale.  

A reconstruction of the Old North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts,  where in 1775 local Minutemen fired the first shot in the American War of Independence and forced the British to retreat back to Boston.  Taken in 1965 when I spent a wonderful year  working in Cambridge, Mass. 

Covered Bridges  are a unique part of New England heritage and this one is n New Hampshire.    

Ramsau  is a small village near Berchtesgarten in Bavaria, close to the the  Austrian border.   The church of St. Sebastian was was built in 1512 and extended in 1692 in the baroque style. The footbridge crosses the Ramsauer Ache.   This has to be one of my best loved holiday photographs. 

Copyright © 2012 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

Click here to find how other blogger's have depicted this week's theme. 


  1. What an interesting collection of bridges -- such variety! Are you saying that the Ironbridge in the picture is the same one built in 1779? If so, I'm amazed.

  2. Wow -- that viaduct is impressive!

  3. Lovely wonderful bridges, thanks for sharing a little bit about them all. The Earlston was it, reminds me of an old famous bridge in Minnesota (Stillwater area) that sits on private property now, but it has some famous paintings of our Union Soldiers walking across it during the Civil War times. Your parents look wonderful, and what a bit of a walk across rocks to get to that spot! Very fun post, thanks!

  4. A wonderful collection of bridges and how interesting to have a strong family connection to Ironbridge.;it's a fascinating place. I know Kirby Lonsdale too as I lived in Cumbria for a few years as a child (Kendal) and have re-visited it on many occasions.

  5. My surprise is the same as Wendy's. Had no idea such a bridge could be constructed in the 18th century.
    I hope your mother made it to the shore safely. She probably did. Otherwise you would have known...

  6. The iron bridge and the railway viaduct are both picturesque and unusual.

  7. I included Skye as well but did not include the railway viaduct at Yarm. You cannot get such a beautiful shot of it as the one you have of the Leaderfoot. An historic post indeed.

  8. A great selection of bridges - I particularly like the one at Leaderfoot. My friend's Mum lives near it too. Jo

  9. To Peter and Wendy - yes, that is the original Ironbridge built in 1779 - and the reason the area of Coalbrookdale is regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revoution. My father was very proud of his Ironbridge heritage.

  10. We had some covered bridges in Michigan but the one I saw was looking pretty wobbly.

  11. The photo of your parents is so sweet! And the collection of bridges you presented today is just fascinating!

  12. I've seen the first 2 bridges, and Ironbridge was awesome. Some holiday we'll get to add the railway viaduct and the others too.


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