Architecture

Cornish footbridge to medieval castle doesn't quite meet in the middle

Cornish footbridge to medieval...
Construction of the bridge began in late 2018 and was completed in mid 2019
Construction of the bridge began in late 2018 and was completed in mid 2019
View 12 Images
The bridge spans a 190 ft (57 m)-long gorge
1/12
The bridge spans a 190 ft (57 m)-long gorge
The bridge is located 57 m (187 ft) above sea level
2/12
The bridge is located 57 m (187 ft) above sea level
The bridge had a £5 million (US$6 million) budget
3/12
The bridge had a £5 million (US$6 million) budget
Construction of the bridge began in late 2018 and was completed in mid 2019
4/12
Construction of the bridge began in late 2018 and was completed in mid 2019
The bridge consists of 47.5 tonnes (53.2 tons) of steel
5/12
The bridge consists of 47.5 tonnes (53.2 tons) of steel
A total of 40,000 hand-cut locally-sourced slate tiles were also used in construction
6/12
A total of 40,000 hand-cut locally-sourced slate tiles were also used in construction
The bridge connects both sides of Tintagel Castle for the first time in over 500 years
7/12
The bridge connects both sides of Tintagel Castle for the first time in over 500 years
The bridge's graceful appearance belies its complexity
8/12
The bridge's graceful appearance belies its complexity
The bridge consists of two independent cantilevering sections that are approximately 33 m (108 ft) in length each
9/12
The bridge consists of two independent cantilevering sections that are approximately 33 m (108 ft) in length each
Previously, visitors to the popular tourist site would have to walk down and then back up the gorge with many steps
10/12
Previously, visitors to the popular tourist site would have to walk down and then back up the gorge with many steps
Visitors may be slightly perturbed to find a small gap at the center of the bridge but it measures just 4 cm (1.57 in) and is perfectly safe
11/12
Visitors may be slightly perturbed to find a small gap at the center of the bridge but it measures just 4 cm (1.57 in) and is perfectly safe
According to the designers, the gap "has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend"
12/12
According to the designers, the gap "has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend"

A new footbridge has been installed at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England, that replaces a land bridge lost over 500 years ago. The project consists of two sections of bridge that don't quite meet in the middle, creating a small gap at the center.

Tintagel is a stunning part of England that's steeped in legend and is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. Inspired by such tales, Richard, Earl of Cornwall had a castle built on the island in the 13th century that was accessed by a narrow land bridge, but it disappeared due to erosion around the 16th century and the castle is now in ruins.

Until now, visitors to the popular tourist destination would descend many steps down the cliff and cross a small wooden bridge, then ascend back up the other side, but the £5 million (US$6 million) new footbridge is situated in the same spot as the land bridge previously occupied and makes the journey far easier.

While gaps in bridges certainly aren't unheard of, they're not typically left uncovered for people to simply walk over, so visitors may be a little perturbed to make the crossing. However, the void measures just 4 cm (1.57 in), and does appear to have some structural support, so nobody's going to be falling through.

According to the designers, the gap "has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend"
According to the designers, the gap "has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend"

According to the designers, the gap "has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend." Additionally, there's a practical element involved too, as it ensures the bridge doesn't come under undue stress from structural forces.

The graceful appearance of the bridge belies its complexity. It spans a 190-ft (57 m)-long gorge with two independent cantilevering sections that are roughly 33 m (108 ft) in length each. A total of 47.5 tonnes (53.2 tons) of steel was used for the structure and balustrades, along with 40,000 hand-cut locally-sourced slate tiles for the deck and 140 m (459 ft) of oak for the handrails.

During installation, a cable crane was employed to build the bridge in a dozen sections without the need for scaffolding or supports. One amusing final test involved workers jumping up and down on it – thankfully all went well and it opens to the public on August 11.

The project was headed by Belgian engineers Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates on behalf of English Heritage, a charity that cares for historic monuments, buildings and sites in England.

Sources: English Heritage, William Matthews Associates, Ney & Partners

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!