Bridge at Enniskerry

Here’s an excerpt from The Dublin Builder (Vol. VII, No. 138, p. 228, September 15, 1865)*:

New Bridge at Enniskerry

A handsome singe-span bridge, dressed with cut granite, is in the course of erection of the river at Enniskerry, county Wicklow, from designs by Mr H. Brett, county surveyor. When completed it will be broad and level, and will present handsome balustrades, and add increased picturesqueness to this already favoured locality. It is contemplated to erect a hotel close to, and on the Dublin side of this bridge, in an elevated position, commanding a fine prospect of the Enniskerry vale and its surrounding heights; the cost of erection to be defrayed by Viscount Powerscourt. The bridge is being erected jointly by his lordship and the grand jury of the county.

The bridge, which crosses the river at the Bog Meadow running alongside the Powerscourt Arms has a rich archival history. Immediately preceding the new bridge of 1865, there was an iron bridge, captured in one of Lewis Wingfield’s photographs of the village (I have included this picture in the book). Before this, there are several sources to show there was a three-arch bridge crossing the river. For example, in the Prints and Drawings collection at the National Library, there are several sketches by Samuel Brocas;  two of which are of the village in 1822 and include the bridge. In addition, one of these shows a mill-race to the village side of the bridge underneath what is the hotel car-park today. Samuel’s brother William also sketched the bridge, with a clearer view of the millrace. Both sketches show a small dwelling beside the bridge under where the car-park would be today, between the millrace and the main river.

*Source: National Library of Ireland.

3 thoughts on “Bridge at Enniskerry

  1. Can you confirm that the bridge shown at the link below is indeed the new village bridge of 1865 over the Cookstown river : –

    If so is the correct name “the Dargle Bridge” as indicated; or is this a bridge somewhere else (on the Dargle)? In either could you please confirm whether or not the 1865 bridge has a name. The bridge shown is said to have been built c.1890 – 1900 (???).

    Thank you, Stephen O’Reilly

    • Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for your comment on possibly my favourite topic! I think the clue is in the balustrades on the bridge. The picture you give a link to doesn’t show balustrades as far as I can see from zooming in! Also I think the banks are steeper at Enniskerry.

      I have seen this picture used on postcards though, perhaps it is further downstream where the Cookstown river joins the Dargle? I think I have the postcard myself, I’ll check. The date might refer to the date of drawing, rather than date of construction.


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