Blaina Iron Works craftsmanship still
on displayand in usein historic Exeter
Sprague took and submitted this photo of a bridge in Exeter, manufactured
by the Russell & Browns Blaina Iron Works in 1834. Sprague reports
that the bridge "is substantial and still well used."
He writes: "The date of the bridge is evident in the pictures.
The bridge was constructed to improve the northern entrance into
the city, it being an important access point from the Northern Devon
towns. Of course, transport was horse pulled wagons, etc., at this
time. The problem was a steep descent from the north, followed by
an equally steep ascent into the city, the bridge being designed
to bridge the gap between the two high points. The general view
picture (first one below), taken from where the entrance to the
old city would have been, shows the extent of the bridge. The buildings
close by the right hand side of the bridge are to the side of the
old road which was used prior to the bridge, some of which were
there before the bridge. When the bridge was constructed, a foot
bridge was made from the bridge to an old inn which was on the old
road, entering the inn on one of the upper floors! I understand
from a local history book that the cost of the bridge was some £9000.
In the later part of the 1800's, an alternative road route from
the north was engineered into the city, avoiding another steep ascent
on the road before the bridge was reached.
bridge is still in use, although subject to weight restrictions.
It has recently been renovated and repainted in the manner it was
have a particular regard for this bridge. My family migrated into
Exeter in 1816 and lived on the old road below the bridge prior
to and during the period that it was built."