“The unique and exquisite sandstone Ross Bridge was completed in 1836 and is the third oldest, and one of Australia’s finest sandstone bridges in Australia.”
The Ross Bridge replaced two previous structures, both of which were approx 100 metres upstream from this existing one. The two originals were made of 14 buttresses and covered with logs and clay. They were both unsuitable due to the river flooding in winter.
John Lee Archer, a colonial architect and civil engineer designed the bridge originally with 5 arches to fit the width of the river next to the old bridge. Roderick O'Connor, inspector of public works, opposed the idea, suggesting that the foundations at the present site were more suitable, therefore John Lee Archer changed his plans and found that a 3 span bridge would fit perfectly.
The bridge took five years to complete with convict labour. The icons on the bridge, 186 in total, took approximately 15 months to complete and comprise of animals, birds, insects, plants, Celtic designs, and heads of local personalities and authoritarians. The sandstone was quarried locally and was ground and cut by convict chain gangs.
The bridge was opened in 1836 by Governor Arthur and the remains of the old ones were detonated.
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Historic Ross Bridge
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