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Built or Bolted Britain Built or Bolted Britain

Civil Engineering Civil Engineering

UK Bridges UK Bridges

Canals and Narrowboats UK Canals and Narrowboats UK


macclesfield bridge
blow up bridge
regent's canal
regent's park

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Under the Blow Up Bridge

Under the Blow Up Bridge
In the early hours of October 10, 1874 the barge Tilbury was third in a train of vessels being towed by a steam tug westwards along the Canal. It was laden with sugar, nuts, two or three barrels of petroleum and five tons of gunpowder. The gunpowder caught fire, causing a huge explosion, as the barge went under the Macclesfield bridge. Three crew members and a horse were killed, the bridge destroyed and windows were blown out of houses a mile away. The explosion caused such havoc that a detachment of Horse Guards were brought in to help keep order and to ensure safety from wild animals at the Zoo. The bridge was rebuilt in 1876, using the original iron columns.

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Blimey that must have lit up the sky!..Thanks for the story and picture
5 years ago.
Tom Swailes
Tom Swailes
The monumental cast iron columns from Ironbridge Gorge presented an advertising opportunity not to be missed!
5 years ago.
MJ Maccardini (trailerfullofpix)
MJ Maccardini (trail…
Thanks for the invitations, Tom.
5 years ago.
Tom Swailes has replied to MJ Maccardini (trail…
You're very welcome M.J - and thanks to you for the explosive history of the bridge
5 years ago.
MJ Maccardini (trail… has replied to Tom Swailes
The next photo shows how the columns were turned around when the bridge was re-built, so that the towrope marks are now on the inside of the columns, away from the canal.
5 years ago.