A Semi -Regular Photo Blog about Life in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Iron Lady

Bawdens Bridge over the Orara River, 136 yrs old and still going strong! In 1874 Cobb and Co coaches ruled the gravel roads and bullock trains moved wool from Glen Innes to the Clarence River.
One of the oldest iron bridges in Australia, she has seen and survived over 150 floods. Into the early 21st century she happily accommodates B-Double gravel trucks and Toorak tractors albeit on a single lane and at 30kms an hour.The RTA site provides very detailed info about this grand old dame of the 19th century.

RTA click here

Bawdens Bridge is only 15mins from Grafton at the start of the Old Glen Innes Rd. I plan to progressively travel along this very historic road in 2011; it holds lots of unusual surprises.


  1. Ooo goodie .. I love photographic journeys. I love the idea of Cobb & Co without knowing much about them. Just the basics. I know bullock teams hauled logs, but how did they haul wool bales. Must been on drays or somesuch.

    A Toorak tractor sounds like a contradiction in terms ... is this Graftonese for 4WD?

  2. Yes the wool was hauled on drays.
    Toorak tractor is Melbournese for large 4WDs

  3. Excellent post, thank you.

    PS. For some reason I have to use the "OPEN ID" to post now, otherwise I have to go back and sign in to google and my gmail!!
    Regards, Keith.

  4. Sounds like it was built to last. I fear the architect may have been laughed at in his time for overbuilding...but look who's gotten the last laugh!

  5. And she looks sturdy enough to survive another flood (or two)

  6. the supports look like they could stand for another 100 years! what a fine bridge.

  7. «Louis» welcomes your contribution to Sunday Bridges.

    He's very pleased with the participation in this meme from bloggers in Australasia. Linky opens at 0001 hrs central Europe time each Sunday so that bloggers from Australasia and Europe have more time to post.

  8. I see think see timber supports underneath. Also the measuring sticks indicate that the water will reach great depths during flood time. Nice photo.

  9. This is most unusual looking bridge with so many things to study: wood, steel, circular openings, linear lines,intricate design to the steel railings, a measuring stick, and then the wonderful history lesson you included. This is a great post which I enjoyed so much. Kudos!

  10. I forgot to say one important thing with regards to this post. If this bridge were in the US, it would already have been torn down to make way for the new. That makes this shot even more breathtaking. Genie

  11. Hi Mark,

    so pleased to see a dry bridge in Australia. I was at Brisbane this time last year,

    The bridge and river combination make me very nervous, after the Queensland flooding, and watching the boats bashing against the bridge. So thankful we don't have floods.


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