ATHLUNKARD BRIDGE | FOTONIQUE

Street Photography By William Murphy

Athlunkard Bridge


Description:Five-arch cut limestone road bridge over the River Shannon, begun in 1826 and completed in 1830, running on an east-west axis from Corbally Road in to Co. Clare. Segmental-headed arches with cut stone voussoirs and limestone ashlar cutwaters on a pointed-arch plan. Rock-faced squared and snecked limestone ashlar walls with half-barrel coping to parapet wall. Curved wings to either end of both elevations, terminating in full-height piers. A smooth limestone platband defines the imposts, which continue under the soffits. A similar platband defines the base of the parapet. Three inscribed plaques give the dates of the commencement (1826) and completion of the bridge (1830); the name of the architects, the local MP (Thomas Spring Rice) and the county boundary marker.

Appraisal: Designed and built by the architects, James and George Richard Pain, this bridge is of high design quality and displays the best stone masonry skills of the day. Atlunkard Bridge is the first bridge to cross the River Shannon as it turned southeast. Its strategic and infrastructural importance is further highlined as it not only forms a county boundary between Limerick and Clare, but following its construction, it enlarged the effective hinterland of the city from the confines of the River Shannon. The bridge linked Park and Corbally with the network of streets on King's Island, through to Mathew Bridge and on to the Rutland Street-George's Street axis, and became one of the principal routes within the city and through to the west of Ireland. The bridge cost £7,000.