Thomas Telford's cast-iron bridges

Roland Paxton

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Thomas Telford's innovations using cast iron included a landmark lightweight type of arch bridge with spans of 32-52 m, longer than then practicable in stone and exhibiting an unparalleled combination of strength, economy and intuitive design. This development influenced cast-iron bridge building until the 1830s and the adoption of elegant and effective lozenge-lattice bracing in bridge spandrels until the 1870s. This paper identifies and examines Telford's mastery in cast-iron bridge design, exemplified by a legacy of six bridges which are still operational in varying degrees after nearly two centuries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12-19
    Number of pages8
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Civil Engineering
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2007


    • Bridges
    • Conservation
    • History
    • Strength & testing of materials


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