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Three arches survive of a seven or nine arch seventeenth century road bridge over the Kinnegad River which connected Galway to Dublin (N6) via the village of Kinnegad. The village of Kinnegad is located 90m to the NW. The 17th century bridge has been replaced by the present concrete bridge that was constructed in 1936. A bridge over the Kinnegad River at this location is depicted on the 1654 Down Survey map of Farbill barony where it is annotated as ‘The Bridge of Kenegad’ and shown standing to the SE of Kinnegad Castle (WM027-071----) (NLI p.7384). In 1661 this medieval bridge was replaced by a new bridge mentioned in the House of Commons Journal under the entry for the 22nd of March where it states that ‘the bridge of Kinnegad is much out of repaire and that great damage and loss hath happened to travellers and cattle in their passing over same and have ordered that two letters be written from the Speaker of the House, one to the Judges of Assize for the Co. of Meath and another to the Justices of Peace for the Co. of Westmeath to take care that according to Law a substantial bridge can be made over the said river Kinnegad’(Simington and O’Keeffe 1991, 219). Described in 1991 as ‘three arches of the 1660s’ bridge and three upstream cutwaters have survived. The river has been diverted into a new and deeper cut immediately northwest of the surviving arches of the old bridge. The bridge erected across the new channel in 1840s was replaced by the present reinforced concrete bridge in 1936. The span of the surviving arches is 9ft (2.7m) with a rise of 3ft. 6in. (1.04m), a 105º degree arc segment. The piers are 10ft (3m) thick. The ring stone are wedge-shaped, 7in. on extrados and 4.5in. (0.11m) on the intrados averaging 18in. (0.28m) in depth on the head. They are well bonded into the barrel. The stones are not ashlar. The joints are not truly radial, especially in the haunches. The masonry in the cutwaters is coursed random rubble. The points of the upriver cutwaters are well cut stones and well bonded. The masonry in the cutwaters is coursed rubble, but the spandrels are of random rubble. The width of the roadway between parapets was 16ft. (4.87m)’ (ibid., 219-20).
Compiled by: Caimin O'Brien
Date of upload: 03 April 2017
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.