Sunday Mirror

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol


Described by its legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel as “my first love, my darling”, it was originally designed to cater for horse-drawn traffic.

Now, more than four million vehicles a year cross the 1,352ft-long toll bridge over the Avon Gorge, a route from Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in Somerset. The £1 toll for every journey pays for its maintenanc­e.

Although similar in size, the bridge towers are not identical in design. They are topped by roller-mounted saddles which allow movement of the three independen­t wrought iron chains on each side as loads pass over the bridge.

The history of the bridge, dating back to 1864, is kept alive through a programme of tours, events and exhibition­s. Its special Hard Hat tour offers the opportunit­y to go behind the scenes and explore Brunel’s hidden chambers. cliftonbri­

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