BRUNEL, Isambard Kingdom
(b. 1806, Portsmouth, d. 1859, London)

Clifton Suspension Bridge

1829-64
Photo
Clifton, Bristol

As in industrialization generally, Britain pioneered the use of the new building materials of iron and glass. An important area for the use of iron was for bridges.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge spans Avon Gorge, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. Spanning over 214 m, and nominally 76 m above the River Avon, it had the longest span of any bridge in the world at the time of construction. It is one of the first and technically most daring suspension bridges. The towers are modeled on Egyptian pylons, blending technical progress and Romanticism even in an engineering structure.