McDonald truss bridges in Galston Gorge NSW, 1894-1909

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This image depicts the McDonald truss bridges built in Galston Gorge in 1893. The bridges were completed in 1894 and served as a crossing between Galston and Hornsby Heights. The bridge in the foreground is Berowra Creek Bridge and was replaced in 1937. The smaller of the two bridges, in the background bridge, is Pearce's Creek Bridge, still exists today and has been listed on The Heritage and Conservation Register. The Roads and Maritime Services determined that the bridge holds 'State significance' and is thought to be 'the only timber truss road bridge in NSW to survive with its original style deck still in use.'

The Hall collection provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour, from the 1890s to the 1930s – from large racing and cruising yachts, to the many and varied skiffs jostling on the harbour, to the new phenomenon of motor boating in the early twentieth century. The collection also includes images of the many spectators and crowds who followed the sailing races.

This image belongs to a series of photographs probably taken on the Hawkesbury River by William Frederick Hall between 1880 and 1909.

The ANMM undertakes research and accepts public comments that enhance the information we hold about images in our collection. This record has been updated accordingly.

Object no. 00002367

pellethepoet,, and 1 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. pellethepoet 33 months ago | reply

    They look like McDonald Truss bridges.

  2. pellethepoet 33 months ago | reply

    Yes! The foreground bridge is the Berowa Creek Bridge over Galston Gorge. McDonald timber truss road bridge built in 1892 and replaced in 1937. See -

    The smaller bridge in the distance still exists today -

  3. Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons 33 months ago | reply

    Thank you for your contribution pellethepoet, our records have been updated. What a remarkable piece of information, especially in light of the fact that the Roads and Maritime Services determined that it was of great historical significance to the State.

  4. beachcomberaustralia 33 months ago | reply

    GORGE-ous !

    What a fabulous collection of Hawkesbury River and tributaries photos this is. I love all the damage, crinkles and creases too. Patina!

  5. pellethepoet 24 months ago | reply

    Newly built bridges:
    [Pay no attention to the c.1871 date - it's a loose photo slipped into a c.1871 album.]
    Note the winch. For what purpose? Still there in this photo.

  6. Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons 24 months ago | reply

    Fantastic photograph thanks for sharing! Hmm, the pic appears to be taken a little earlier based on the fence in the foreground, near the winch. Not really sure what the winch was used for. Did you all see this heritage report from the Roads & Maritime Services?

  7. beachcomberaustralia 24 months ago | reply

    No idea what the winch was for, but the fence looks odd - blocking access to the new bridge, suggesting this photo is before the bridge opened. The road is looking new too. So this c.1892 date might provide a clue to the other Hawkesbury photos.

    GooglMapsStreetView of the smaller bridge a road sign calls it "Tunks Creek, Galston Bridge 1893". Btw the unusual diagonal deck planking mentioned in the Heritage Report (and still there) we have seen before at the 1893 Cowra Road Bridge - . Diagonal decks were huge in 1893!

  8. pellethepoet 24 months ago | reply

    Speaking of identifying bridges, did you check out any of the other photos in the amazing c.1871 album? I've just identified 25, 64, & 216 as the original (1854) laminated arch road bridge at Yass, with reference to this Yass panorama (showing the 1871 bridge):

    Have also id'd 111 as Orange and 44, 46 [School of Arts], 48, 121, & 147 as Bathurst. I'm feeling a little guilty for not including you, but there are plenty more that need sleuthing! :)

  9. beachcomberaustralia 24 months ago | reply

    Which c.1871 album? So many albums, so little time ...

    EDIT - Found it! Pity we can't scribble all over the photos.

  10. beachcomberaustralia 24 months ago | reply

    Just had a look through that album - lots of identifiable stuff. Another one of Yass ---
    No.83 Mechanics Institute with extrordinary kangaroos on the roof ! If you are making a list for the SLNSW ....

    Sorry, we seem to have gone off on a tangent ...
    Second thoughts about that fence - it is not across the bridge, but on the next level up, round the hairpin bend, and the photographer is on another level up still - see the GoogleSatellite image. They were building the fence, and the winch was for hauling the timber up?

  11. pellethepoet 24 months ago | reply

    I'll be making a list and checking it twice ...

  12. Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons 24 months ago | reply

    Hehe, that's ok, we like tangents :) Gorgeous photographs in the SLNSW collection.

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