The Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the picturesque 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.
24 year old Isambard Kingdom Brunel was eventually declared the winner and appointed project engineer – his first major commission.
Work began 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 aged only 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.