Banagher Bridge

BANAGHER BRIDGE

CONSTRUCTION AND GRAND OPENING 1841 – 43

Offaly Bridge & Fort
Thursday 8th May – Banagher Bridge presentation of historic lithographs – in Banagher.

We have a guided tour of Banagher at 5.30 pm from James Scully starting at the Offaly side of Banagher bridge for 30 minutes and dinner/supper immediately after in the town at Eugene Flynn’s followed by the lecture.

This will be a good evening and if you are coming to the meal c. €10 let us know by emailing or phoning the society. Otherwise the lecture is at 8pm in Banagher College. If you need a lift contact a member of the committee as some of us can leave from Offaly History Centre at 5pm on Thursday 8 May.

Non members are always welcome and it is a public event. info@offalyhistory.com and 0579321105

 

BANAGHER BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION AND GRAND OPENING 1841 – 43

Fortifications at Banagher 1The acquisition of two lithographs depicting the construction and opening of Banagher Bridge in 1843 will be marked on Thursday 8th May at 8p.m. in Banagher College, Coláiste na Sionna, with a presentation and slide show of newly sourced material relating to this historic episode. Everyone is welcome.

The presentation will include illustrations of the old bridge of Banagher by contemporary artists George Petrie, Captain William Smith and Martin Haverty. Detailed descriptions of the River Shannon at Banagher from the Shannon Commissioners’ surveys and a visitor’s account in 1838 will also be quoted. A new study using graphics and photo–montage will describe the architectural form and location of the old bridge relevant to the present day landscape.

Details of the construction work will be drawn from the diary of William Mackenzie, the contractor, and from the many plans and drawings by the commissioners’ engineer Thomas Rhodes and his predecessor John Stokes. The letters of Henry Renton, resident engineer at Banagher for the full duration of the project, provide an insight into the daily activities and challenges of a bustling and often frenzied building site. Renton’s daily correspondence and record keeping inform us on unfolding events such as the sourcing of materials particularly top quality stone from local quarries, unrest among the workforce, the assembling of machinery and other details, all fully illustrated.

Reports on the grand opening of the bridge on the 12th August 1843 have been sourced from local newspaper reports and the role played by the local masonic lodge in the ceremonies will be elaborated on. In conclusion the demolition of the old bridge with explosives will be illustrated and the lithographs displayed. The event is free of charge and open to all.

The presentation is compiled and presented by Eoghan Broderick MRIAI, Kieran Keenaghan and James Scully.