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Kilcarn bridge comprising eleven round arch spans is built of random rubble with limestone coping and dressed limestone voussoirs. It was originally constructed with eight arches of which the central four are significantly larger. The original bridge was widened to the south and extended by three large arches at subsequent dates. It has triangular plan cutwaters to both upstream and downstream sides of the bridge, many of which have been carried up to create pedestrian refuges in the parapet wall. Wickercentring is present in the third arch from the east bank and this indicates a late medieval date for this section at least. The bridge is mentioned in a report relating to the movements of O’Neill and his rebel army in 1599 (Cal. S.P. Ire. 1599, 191) and is shown on the Down Survey (1655-6) map. Two main construction phases have been identified (Simmington and O'Keefe 1991, 180-3), an original 3.6m wide section and a 2.7m extension on the up-river side. The original bridge has been dated to between 1550 and 1594 (ibid.). The bridge was closed to traffic in 1977 and a new bridge constructed upstream. (Moore 1987, no. 1826; http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/niah/search.jsp?type=record&county=ME®no=14402511)
The linked image was taken on 10 March 2014.
Compiled by: Paul Walsh
Date of upload: 3 April 2014
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.