Barmouth Bridge (Pont Abermaw), which crosses the wide estuary of the River Mawddach between Barmouth and Morfa Mawdadach in Gwynedd, N. Wales. It was designed by Benjamin Piercy (1827-1888), a very eminent Welsh engineer, responsible for railway engineering projects and other public works not only in Wales but also abroad, in Sardinia, France and India. [Click on this image and the following ones to enlarge them.]

At 685m. long, or longer according to some sources, and with 113 spans, the single-track railway viaduct over the Mawddach is the longest timber bridge still in use in Britain. It was opened in 1867, though its early "cock-and-draw" moveable section was replaced by a steel swing bridge in 1899 (Haslam et al., 552). It also has a footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

These hog-backed lattice girders would be echoed in the even longer Tay Bridge of 1887.

Section of the bridge, showing some of its many spans.

In 1980, the bridge's woodwork was found to have been beset by teredo worm infestation. That problem was dealt with successfully, but more recently council cuts have also threatened the bridge's future as part of the Wales Coast Path and the popular Holyhead to Cardiff cycle route.

Photographs by Colin Price. Commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or to the Victorian Web in a print document.]

Related Material


"150 Protest to support access to Barmouth Bridge." BBC News. Web. 24 March 2016.

Barmouth Bridge. Heritage Locations. Web. 24 March 2016.

"Benjamin Piercy" (Obituary in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1889). Reprinted in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. Web. 24 March 2016.

Haslam, Richard, Julian Orbach and Adam Voelcker. Gwynedd. The Buildings of Wales series. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009.

Created 24 March 2016