Wednesday, 8 January 2020


The Avon Gorge
Over recent weeks I have spent a fair few days in Bristol.

Rosie the Puppy and I like to drive up to Clifton Downs and particularly fair part of the city and go for a stroll and then take coffee at the excellent café attached to the Clifton Observatory.

Craving Rosie’s indulgence drawings are made and then the inevitable interest is sparked on ‘Brunel’s bridge’ and indeed the gorge of the River Avon that is spans.

A nice bridge

The Avon gorge runs south to north through a limestone ridge 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Bristol city centre, and runs about 3 miles (5 km) from the mouth of the river at Avonmouth. Throughout the city’s history the gorge has been an important transport route, carrying the River Avon, major roads and two railways.

As importantly the Avon Gorge is the subject of mediaeval mythology. The myth tells a tale of two giant brothers, Goram and Vincent, who constructed the gorge. One variation holds that Vincent and Goram were constructing the gorge together and Goram fell asleep, to be accidentally killed by Vincent's pickaxe.

At the Clifton Suspension Bridge the Gorge is more than 700 feet wide and 300 feet deep. William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw build it based on an earlier design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Clearance: 245 ft. (75 m) above high water level
Dip of chains: 70 ft. (21.34 m)
Height of towers: 86 ft. (26 m) above deck
Overall length: 1,352 ft. (412 m)
Overall width: 31 ft. (9.45 m)
Span: 702 ft. 3 in (214.05 m)

Fascinating facts from Wikipedia and gleaned with thanks. The writer is a regular contributor the Wikipedia funding, as we all should be. 

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim