Dusk at Clifton
The Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the beautiful Avon Gorge, is the symbol of the city of Bristol. For almost 150 years this Grade I listed structure has attracted visitors from all over the world. Its story began in 1754 with the dream of a Bristol wine merchant who left a legacy to build a bridge over the Gorge.
The first competition in 1829 was judged by Thomas Telford, the leading civil engineer of the day. Telford rejected all the designs and submitted his own but the decision to declare him the winner was unpopular and a second competition was held in 1830. 24 year old Isambard Kingdom Brunel was eventually declared the winner and appointed project engineer – his first major commission. The foundation stone was laid in 1831 but the project was dogged with political and financial difficulties and by 1843, with only the towers completed, the project was abandoned. Brunel died prematurely aged 53 yrs in 1859 but the Bridge was completed as his memorial and finally opened in 1864. Designed in the early 19th century for light horse drawn traffic it still meets the demands of 21st century commuter traffic with 11-12,000 motor vehicles crossing it every day.
Finding myself in Clifton at dusk I was impressed at the outline of the bridge at this time of day, the result shows the bridge in a different perspective.