SP0189 : Galton Bridge, Smethwick

taken 2 years ago, near to Smethwick, Sandwell, Great Britain

Galton Bridge, Smethwick
Galton Bridge, Smethwick
Roadway level looking north.

There are benchmarks near the first pillar on the left LinkExternal link , and at the far end of the right hand parapet LinkExternal link .
Galton Bridge

This formed part of Thomas Telford's improvement of the Birmingham Canal and was built in 1829. The improvement incorporated the 3.6 mile long Smethwick Cutting, at the time one of the largest earthworks to have been carried out. The bridge carried the Smethwick Sandwell road over the deepest part of the cutting.

The main element of the bridge is a cast iron arch of six ribs, spanning 45.7 metres (150 feet) with a rise of 4.6 metres (15 feet) across the Smethwick Cutting of the new cut of the canal, at a clear height of some 20m above the water. As with many of the other bridges of the project, the ironwork was cast at Horseley Iron Works in Tipton.

The diagonal bracing of the ribs followed the pattern that Telford had used for his bridges over the Severn at Mythe and Holt Fleet. Unlike these two, which still carry modern traffic, Galton Bridge has not been subject to modern strengthening and is essentially original. A weight limit of 2 tons had been imposed prior to 1975, when continued increases in traffic resulted in closure to vehicles, continuing to serve as a pedestrian and cycle link (National Route 5). It was listed Grade II in 1972, and upgraded to Grade I in 1989.
The bridge is named after Samuel Galton, a member of the Lunar Society and a director of the Birmingham Canal Company.

The Listing includes the later arch over the London and North Western Railway's Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway, opened in 1852. This section repeats the parapet design of the original.

Listed Buildings and Structures

Listed buildings and structures are officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. There are over half a million listed structures in the United Kingdom, covered by around 375,000 listings.
Listed status is more commonly associated with buildings or groups of buildings, however it can cover many other structures, including bridges, headstones, steps, ponds, monuments, walls, phone boxes, wrecks, parks, and heritage sites, and in more recent times a road crossing (Abbey Road) and graffiti art (Banksy 'Spy-booth') have been included.

In England and Wales there are three main listing designations;
Grade I (2.5%) - exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important.
Grade II* (5.5%) - particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
Grade II (92%) - nationally important and of special interest.

There are also locally listed structures (at the discretion of local authorities) using A, B and C designations.

In Scotland three classifications are also used but the criteria are different. There are around 47,500 Listed buildings.
Category A (8%)- generally equivalent to Grade I and II* in England and Wales
Category B (51%)- this appears generally to cover the ground of Grade II, recognising national importance.
Category C (41%)- buildings of local importance, probably with some overlap with English Grade II.

In Northern Ireland the criteria are similar to Scotland, but the classifications are:
Grade A (2.3%)
Grade B+ (4.7%)
Grade B (93%)

Read more at Wikipedia LinkExternal link

National Cycle Route 5

National Route 5 of the National Cycle Network is a long distance route which when complete will connect Reading and Holyhead via Oxford, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Birmingham, Walsall, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Chester, Colwyn Bay and Bangor. The southern half of the route between Reading and Walsall is open and signed whilst the northern half between Walsall and Holyhead is still under development.

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SP0189, 188 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 5 September, 2019   (more nearby)
Thursday, 12 September, 2019
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Roads, Road transport  Canals 
Bridge (from Tags)
Road Over Canal 
Period (from Tags)
Early 19th Century 
Date (from Tags)
Building Material (from Tags)
Cast Iron 
Name (from Tags)
Thomas Telford 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0150 8934 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:30.1175N 1:58.7599W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 0147 8931
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Galton Bridge  Grade I Listed 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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