List of lattice girder bridges in the United Kingdom

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Lattice girder bridge at Llandeilo,Powys.JPG
Close up of ironwork construction, bridge at Llandeilo,Powys.jpg

This list is intended to help identify a particular early form of lattice girder bridge which was popular with bridge engineers particularly in the United Kingdom in the latter half of the 19th century.

The term "lattice girder", is used in the UK and "lattice truss" is more widely used in the USA. A lattice girder or truss is often defined only in two dimensions, that is (in the case of a bridge) the structure as seen from the side.[1] Such definitions sufficed for the early lattice girders such as the US Town truss which was designed for construction in timber. Early iron structures using a Town-type lattice replicated this appearance, leading to the instantly recognisable lattice-work shown in the bridges in Part A of this list. However, design considerations required that an iron (as opposed to a wooden) structure required many of the latticed bars to be stiffened in the third dimension. Thus, on closer examination, the delicate appearance of these early iron lattices is belied by this much more complex stiffening in the thickness or third dimension. This complex stiffening is itself also sometimes described as a ‘lattice girder’, being composed of (typically) two or four parallel flat or angled steel bars, closely spaced but linked by lattice work. Such a member is better described as a "laced strut", and such members frequently form a significant part of a lattice girder. The use of laced struts within a lattice girder can be seen in the two photographs of the c1860s lattice girder bridge at Llandeilo.

Part A of this list focuses on these early examples. (Note that some bridges, for example the New Clyde Viaduct (or Second Caledonian Bridge) in Glasgow appear to be of lattice construction whereas in fact the latticing is used solely for the protective parapet).

In later forms, various developments took place: for example, the lattice became less dense and each individual diagonal thus much more substantial; vertical members were introduced; and eventually both diagonal and vertical members achieved cross-sectional dimensions comparable to those of the main top and bottom components, thus forming what is more commonly known as a truss.

Part B of this list illustrates these later developments.

Part A[edit]

These bridges utilise dense latticing constructed from flat iron bars or angles

Name Date of Construction Key information Image
Bennerley Viaduct 1877 One of only two iron trestle bridges still in situ in the UK.
Bennerley Viaduct photographed from Nottingham Canal Towpath in 2006
Kew Railway Bridge 1869
Kew Railway Bridge
Runcorn Railway Bridge 1868 Also known as Ethelfleda Bridge or Britannia Bridge. Carries Liverpool branch of the West Coast Main Line

over the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal

Runcorn Railway Bridge with Silver Jubilee Bridge behind
Marton Junction Bridge 1851
The high bridge, Hunningham - - 1658756.jpg
Darcy Lever Railway Bridge 1848 Rebuilt in 1883, but it is thought that the original girders were used
Darcy Lever Bridge
Cadishead Viaduct 1892
Cadishead Viaduct, bridging the Manchester Ship Canal west of Manchester
Fulham Railway Bridge 1889
Fulham Railway Bridge
Wandsworth Bridge 1873 Replaced by the current bridge in 1937
The first Wandsworth Bridge
Cornbrook Viaduct (Castlefield) 1877
Cornbrook Viaduct is the upper bridge, it lies just behind the lower bridge in the foreground
Great Northern Viaduct (Castlefield) 1894
The Viaduct and Potato Wharf
Llandeilo Railway Bridge 1852
Llandeilo bridge carries the Heart of Wales railway over the River Towy
Partick Railway Bridge 1900
Partick Bridge over the River Kelvin
Burntisland 1888
The easternmost spans of Burntisland Viaduct looking towards the harbour
Irlam Viaduct 1873
Irlam Viaduct over the Manchester Ship Canal
Monk Bridge
Bridge carrying Whitehall Road over the River Aire
Sheffield District Railway Bridge, Brightside 1900
Disused railway bridge over the River Don
Logierait Bridge 1865
Logierait Bridge over the River Tay
Warmsworth Viaduct 1910
Warmsworth Viaduct over the River Don
Pont Goed Bridge, Pentre Berw, Isle of Anglesey 1867
Pont Goed - bridge over Afon Cefni on the disused Amlwch goods line - - 515286.jpg
Halkirk Bridge 1874
Town lattice girder bridge on Far North Railway near Halkirk, Caithness
Kinbrace Railway Bridge 1874
Bridge over River Helmsdale, Kinbrace, Highland Region
Darwen Street Bridge, Blackburn 1847
Darwen Street Railway Bridge, Blackburn - - 627392.jpg
Wishaw Railway Bridge 1849
Railway Bridge in Wishaw - - 95653.jpg
Gallowgate Railway Bridge 1870
The Gallowgate - - 939892.jpg
Oykel Viaduct, Invershin 1868
Railway bridge over the Kyle of Sutherland, between Culrain and Invershin stations - - 27479.jpg
Sainsbury's Bridge, Bath 1870
The apparent 'roof' covers the modern footbridge adjacent to and immediately behind the railway bridge
Waterloo Railway Bridge 1864
Lattice girder bridge carrying railway tracks from Waterloo east towards Hungerford Bridge
Oxford Gasworks Bridge 1882
Old railway bridge, used as a footpath since the gasworks closed in 1960
Llangefni Railway Bridge 1866
Disused railway bridge over Glanhwfa Road - - 1081848.jpg
Bowshank Railway Bridge 1849
The Bowshank Railway Bridge over Gala Water (geograph 1951208) crop.jpg
Brixton Railway Bridge 1867
Atlantic Road Brixton South London geograph org uk-468413 crop.jpg
Rochester Railway Bridge 1891
Railway bridge over the River Medway, Strood, Kent - Geograph-1729080.jpg
Coatbridge Railway Bridge 1898
Coatbridge Cross railway bridge - Geograph-1811955-by-Stevie-Spiers.jpg
Montrose Viaduct 1880 The end span (see photo) is a conventional Town-type lattice. However, the bulk of this long viaduct consists of longer spans each of which has been strengthened by adding a small degree of upward curvature to the upper horizontals. This is effect makes this structure a unique example of a Town-type bowstring lattice
Montrose Railway Viaduct, south end.jpg
Loop Line Viaduct, Dublin 1891 [NB This structure is located in the Republic of Ireland, NOT the United Kingdom]
Bath Station Railway Bridge 1878
GWR Bath West Bridge - - 179577.jpg
Dolemeads Bridge, Bath
Dolemeads Bridge, River Avon, Bath - - 179573.jpg
Croxley Green Railway Bridge 1912
Bridge carrying Croxley Green branch railway over the Grand Union Canal (Geograph 2160635 by Graham Horn).jpg
River Trent Bridge, Melbourne, Derbyshire 1868
Midland Railway Bridge over the River Trent (geograph 1891694) crop2.jpg
Dutch River Bridge, Goole 1848
Town-type lattice girder bridge carrying railway over Dutch River, Goole (Geograph 1992025 by Ian S crop).jpg
Fortyfoot Bridge, Lincolnshire 1882
Fortyfoot Bridge - - 357799.jpg
Wick River Bridge, Sibster, Caithness 1874
Copy of geograph-2266671-by-John-MacKenzie Sibster crop.jpg
Broadford Bridge, near Guildford, Surrey
Broadford Bridge - - 949950.jpg
Cragganmore Railway Bridge 1863
Cragganmore railway bridge - - 539029.jpg
Crow Road Railway Bridge (1), Glasgow 1885 Estimated Date of Construction. Railways in this part of Glasgow were opened in the mid-1880s
Crow Road - - 300358.jpg
Crow Road Railway Bridge (2), Glasgow 1885 Estimated Date of Construction. Railways in this part of Glasgow were opened in the mid-1880s
Falling off sign.jpg
Burnham Road Railway Bridge, Scotstoun, Glasgow 1907
Burnham Road 2C Scotstoun - geograph org uk - 987616 crop.jpg

Part B[edit]

On these bridges the dense latticing is evolving into a much simpler utilisation of diagonal and vertical members

Name Date of Construction Key information Image
Dowery Dell Viaduct 1883 A rare example of a lattice girder superstructure supported on trestles. Built by the Halesowen Joint Railway. Demolished 1964.
Dowery Dell Viaduct with steam train
Hungerford Bridge 1864
Hungerford Bridge - looking from the footbridge towards the rail bridge
Wicker Viaduct 1848
Viaduct over the River Don, Sheffield

See also[edit]