A trip to Bristol is not completed without a visit to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. On a summer Saturday evening, we found ourselves there. On the day of our visit the Clifton side was surrounded by scaffolding covered in plastic.
Work started in the first half of the 19th century under the direction of Isambard Kingdon Brunel. However work stopped after only a few days as a result of the Bristol Riots of 1831. Although work re-commenced around five years later, the finance was inadequate for the task and in 1843 funds ran out and work stopped. After Brunel’s death in 1859, his colleagues in the Institute of Civil Engineers felt the bridge should be completed in his memory. Work restarted in 1862 using materials from the first Hungerford Bridge (in London) which had been designed by Brunel. The bridge opened in 1864.
At the point where the bridge crosses the Avon Gorge, it is around 74 metres above the mean high water level of the tidal Avon. When we visited it was around low tide. Just south of the bridge is the tidal lock into Bristol Harbour.
To the south east of the bridge there is a lookout point which was developed in 1994 by the Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society.