Happy Birthday Ha'penny Bridge!

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The Ha'penny BridgeOn Thursday 19 May 2016 the Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin's most iconic bridge will be 200 years old.  The building of a bridge at this site was first proposed by John Claudius Beresford, Lord Mayor of Dublin (1814-15) and William Walsh, ferry owner and alderman of the city. Walsh was granted a 100 year lease on the bridge. When the bridge opened Walsh retired his ferries and began charging a ha'penny toll to cross, the same cost as he'd previously charged for ferry passage across the Liffey.  The beautiful elliptical shaped ha'penny bridge was designed and built by John Windsor at the Coalbrookdale Foundry, Shropshire.  The bridge which is crossed by an estimated 30,000 people every day, was completely restored in 2001. The excellent Bridges of Dublin website has lots more to read about the history, the design and engineering of the bridge.

Dublin City Archives and Dublin City Council's Engineering Department have organised a 200th anniversary event on 19 May to mark the occasion. There will be a ceremonial walk across the bridge and a free seminar on the history, architecture and engineering of the Ha'penny Bridge at City Hall on 19 May to mark the occasion.

Here are some photos of the Ha'penny bridge through the years from our photographic collections:

View photos of Ha'penny Bridge from Dublin City Public Libraries on flickr.

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