Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Castlefinn Bridge by Sam Gallagher

Castlefinn Bridge, which spans the River Finn on the Castlederg side of the town was built by Mr Mason in the 18th century. The bridge is built from stones taken from the ruins of O' Donnell's Castle that stood close by. In the ordinance survey of 1836 mention is made of repairs carried out on the bridge in 1774 costing £47. The bridge consists of six water arches and six dry arches and provides the main access route into Castlefinn from the Castlederg/Enniskillen area. In recent times the bridge has been in the news headlines for the wrong reasons, notably, in the mid eighties when a car plunged into the swollen river near the bridge culminating in the tragic loss of four young lives, and even more recently when it was closed to traffic due to the poor state of repair it is currently in.

Castlefinn bridge is of great historical significance to Castlefinn and the surrounding area given the fact that it has links to the O' Donnell era and to O' Donnell's Castle that stood on the banks of the River Finn and was the scene of many battles in the 14th and 15th century. Architecturally, the bridge is one of the few remaining bridges with six water arches and six dry arches and as it is totally built of ancient stone, shows a craftsmanship and a skill that is slowly dying out. Economically and socially, the bridge plays an important role in the accessibility to Castlefinn from that side of the river, and without the bridge, business in the town, already hard pressed, would suffer and schools and churches would be cut off from the growing population on the Castlederg side of the river. This bridge, that has stood and served the people well for over 500 years, cost £900 approx. Could you hazard a cost of replacing it today?

1 comment:

  1. Great bit of information,I was`s aware of this.Next time I pass I will be the wiser.