Dublin bridges

Dublin bridges

Postby Rusty » Sun May 11, 2003 7:20 pm

I have a query about old bridges in Dublin. My husband's Grandfather is said to have helped build a bridge in Dublin, and his name is engraved on the bridge. The name being (we think) Edward Wild, who was a stone and zinc preparer. He was born in London, c1863, and at the age of 17 (1881) was a stone grinders assistant.
The only bridge that seems to fit the time span is the O'Connell bridge, as it was being rebuilt during 1880-1882. Edward was in England in 1881 during the census.
Are there bridges over the River Liffey that have the names of the workers engraved on them? Which ones and when were they built/rebuilt? Is there (apart from coming to Dublin-not an option I have) any way of finding out which bridge has his name on it? Or even a way of getting a list of the names on the bridge, in case we have the wrong grandfather and generation?
My late mother in law said the bridge was quite 'grand'.
Sorry to ask these questions out of the blue, but if anyone can help, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks
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Postby GrahamH » Wed May 14, 2003 12:02 am

Other than O' Connell Bridge, I'm afraid there are no other bridges dating from this time, the closest being Grattan/Capel St Bridge dating from 1875.
All others at the western end of the 'City Liffey' date from the 1860s or earlier.
Towards the eastern end, near the city centre, most are 20th century.

O' Connell Bridge seems the most reliable, being 'very grand' and dating from 1879-1880.
However, with regard to the carving of the name, to my knowledge, O' Connell Bridge has absolutely no feature of this sort whatsoever, short of names or ancient graffiti maybe existing on the underside of it's exceptionally deep arches.

The fact that 'he helped' build the bridge, and that he was a stone preparer suggests perhaps he was'nt the most high ranking of professionals on site, in which case it is highly unlikely his name would feature - then again graffiti could be a possibility.

I pass over it nearly every day, I'll take a close look for you if its any help.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed May 14, 2003 8:37 am

Are you sure its a bridge over the Liffey? Not the canals? Or one of the minor rivers? There are a lot more bridges in Dublin that the ones over the Liffey? Railway bridges as well.
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Postby Rusty » Wed May 14, 2003 1:29 pm

Thanks for the replies, and your help, much appreciated. The best people to ask, I thought, are those living in Dublin!

I have questioned hubby again, his mother said it was a big, significant bridge, in Dublin, that he helped build, and his name was on the bridge. 1880's graffitti could well be the way his name was put on the bridge.

The only ancestor of my hubs that would have had anything to do with building bridges, would have been Edward Wild, as he seems to be the only stone preparer. Mother in law's only relations in Ireland were, John and Eliza O'Rourke (Eliza was Elizabeth Baxter before marriage) and of course any children they had, John was a bootmaker. These two were born in Dublin. Although the O'Rourke family were in England in 1881, they seemed to have moved back by 1901, as they are not on the census. Edward Wild married Mary Jane O'Rourke,(parents were John and Eliza), we presume in Ireland, as there seems to be no record of their marriage here.

I presumed it would have been a bridge over the Liffey. As this seems to be the main river in Dublin. My knowledge of Dublin is practically non-existant unfortunately. Are there any other large and 'significant' bridges in the Dublin area?

Again, thanks for the help :)

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Postby ew » Wed May 14, 2003 4:24 pm

Was the loop line not around that time?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed May 14, 2003 4:58 pm

off the top of my head I think that the Loopline Bridge is late 1880s / early 1890s
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Postby GrahamH » Thu May 15, 2003 1:10 pm

Yep, the same time Connolly & Pearse were further developed to accomodate the new line.

I can't think of any 'very grand' bridge over any other watercourse dating from this time.
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Postby ewanduffy » Mon May 26, 2003 11:26 am

Originally posted by Paul Clerkin
off the top of my head I think that the Loopline Bridge is late 1880s / early 1890s


Loopline was opened in 1891, construction started 1889/90. Off the top of my head, the contractors name was Handyside.

I have a photo of the Talbot Street bridge under construction and will check out this and history of the Dublin & South Eastern Railway also.

I'm not aware of any other railway construction in Dublin in that period. Drumcondra line was late 1890s, opening in 1901.
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Postby Rusty » Mon May 26, 2003 2:21 pm

Thanks ewan. Your help is most welcome.
Was it a common thing for people who worked on bridge building to carve their names in the bridge?

Graham, forgot to say, yes please, to your taking a closer look at the O'Connell bridge.

Many thanks
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Postby ewanduffy » Tue May 27, 2003 11:16 am

Originally posted by ewanduffy


Loopline was opened in 1891, construction started 1889/90. Off the top of my head, the contractors name was Handyside.


Main contractor for the line excluding bridges was Arrol Bros. They also got the contract for the Beresford St. Bridge (which I presume is what we would call the Loop Line Bridge).

Handyside & Co were awarded the contract for the remaining bridges.

An interesting aside came up on an Irish railway discussion group yesterday, noting that there are different styles north and south of the Liffey on this line. It would appear that north of the Liffey, bridges follow the GNR(I) style (i.e., the line was a continuation of the GNR(I) from Amiens Street) and south of the Liffey, it was a continuation of the D&KR.

Any comments on this would be welcome.
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Postby GrahamH » Tue May 27, 2003 7:58 pm

Well short of crawling along the bridge on my hands and knees checking each baluster, I'm afraid there are no names on the bridge.

However with the obvious exception of the large bronze comemorative plaques on each of the parapets, stating the date of the redevelopment of the bridge and the Hon Edmund Gray, Lord Mayor in 1880.

Perhaps this was confused with Edward Wild...
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Postby Rusty » Wed May 28, 2003 11:25 am

Thanks for looking Graham. Please, please do NOT go crawling along the bridge on your hands and knees, people would probably think it was a strange new custom!

It is a possibilty,as you say, that Edward or his family got confused with the name Edmund Gray. Your original idea, that Edward had done a bit of 1800's graffitti, is also possible. If he did, well, it could be anywhere, and me asking anyone to go hunting for that is, well, unreasonable.

Thankyou all so much for your help. :)
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