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An Encyclopaedia of British Bridges (Hardback)

Colour Books P&S History > British History Photographic Books Transport

By David McFetrich
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 444
Illustrations: 800
ISBN: 9781526752956
Published: 9th September 2019



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Foreword written by Nick Baveystock, Director General and Secretary of the Institution of Civil Engineers: David McFetrich has created a wonderful encyclopaedia. This is not just a list of British bridges: it is also a social history of a nation continually growing in industrial power and might, of engineers and architects striving to create beauty and purpose out of functionality, and of the real heroes of the tale, the bridges that underpin our very existence.

Bridges have a universal appeal as examples of man’s mastery of nature, from picturesque packhorse bridges to great spans stretching across broad estuaries, and the development of the technology that allows ever more audacious constructions is never-ending.

Of the million or more bridges throughout Great Britain, David McFetrich has selected those that are significant in terms of their design, construction or location, or of their connections with people or events of history. His definitive book contains 1,600 separate entries for individual bridge sites or related groups of bridges covering more than 2,000 different structures, 165 general entries about different types of bridge and such topics as collapses and failures, and a summary of about 200 record-holding bridges in 50 different categories. The concise text is supported by more than 900 illustrations and diagrams..

The result is a fascinating and readily accessible compendium.

Article ‘Restored bridge is honoured in book’

Liphook Herald, 3rd September 2020

A fascinating resource to dip into and flick through. If like me you find bridges interesting, or if you like structures, architecture, or history, you will find this interesting.

Read the full review here

Michael's Model Railways

The entires themselves are much more an engineer's view, mixed with a good dose of history for the older constructions, but are enough to evoke readers' own associations, besides putting to rest any factual disputes between curious fellow travellers.

Historic Houses, Summer 2020

A great coffee table book featuring every bridge in this country you could think of... With over 700 pictures and illustrations, full of interesting facts on each bridge, this book is one you will keeping picking up time and time again.

Cambridgeshire Family History Society newsletter

I found it fascinating to see the variety of bridges around Britain, even the ones not railway related are fascinating to look at and read about.

Read the full review here

Rail Advent

A guide of wonders coupled with a very instructive technical documentation.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

... for all the wealth of information it still manages to be incredibly readable, well researched and comes highly recommended.

Waterways World, January 2020 - reviewed by Sarah Henshaw

This is a wonderful read.

British Railway Modelling, February 2020 – reviewed by Tony Wright

As featured by

Suffolk & Norfolk Life, December 2019

Featured in

Cumbria Family History Society

Article: 'Red letter day as popular park opens for the first time' as featured by

South Wales Echo, 15th November 2019 – words by Brian Lee

Featured on the 'Christmas Bookshelf'

Somerset Life, December 2019

This volume is well-written and researched and eminently readable, to the extent that this reviewer could find little to fault it... Because of the ubiquity of bridges throughout Great Britain, this volume should have wide appeal. Being an encyclopaedia, it is eminently suitable for random ‘dipping-type’ subject- searching and would be entertaining on that basis alone. Historians and those interested in bridges in both civil-engineering and general interest areas may find it of interest, while readers seeking information about a local bridge-type structure may also find it worthy of their attention.

Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines

'Celebration of city landmarks'

Sheffield Telegraph, 26th September 2019

Article: 'Spanning history in pages of unique bridge encyclopaedia' as featured by

Carluke Gazette, Glenrothes Gazette East Fife Mail, Fife Herald, Fife Free Press, Linlithgow Gazette, Forfar Dispatch, Arbroath Herald

District news: Ancient bridges featured in definitive encyclopaedia

Dumfries & Galloway Standard and The Galloway News – words by Sharon Liptrott

"This encyclopaedia is not only a ‘traditional coffee table’ item to peruse at your leisure, it is also a valuable resource to use in conjunction with an Ordnance Survey Map if you plan to visit some of these structures while on holiday or are merely planning a day out."

East Yorkshire Family History Society

Every time I open the book, I discover something new, and I imagine most readers will find the same.

Read the full review here

The Happy Pontist

The only book of its kind to detail British bridges.

Bookseller Buyers Guide

About David McFetrich

David McFetrich first became interested in bridges while he was at Oundle School and was given the book The World’s Great Bridges by Hubert Shirley Smith. After he left in 1956 he went on to study civil engineering at King’s College, Durham University (now Newcastle University). He then worked in the structural engineering design office of consulting engineers Halcrow for two years, where his projects included the design of a footbridge in Scotland. He followed this by moving into civil engineering contracting, and quickly progressed from being a site engineer to being site agent on a number of prestigious projects, one of which involved the construction of two major road bridges. He left the civil engineering industry in 1970 and spent the rest of his working life in management consultancy, while continuing to collect books and information about bridges as a hobby.
This book is aimed at the general reader but the author would like to think that it will also encourage youngsters into what must be one of the world's most exciting, demanding and worthy careers. Not only is designing and constructing bridges hugely challenging but it helps build the future for everyone.

Perfect Partner

An Encyclopaedia of World Bridges (Hardback)

Bridges are one of the most important artefacts constructed by man, the structures having had an incalculable effect on the development of trade and civilisation throughout the world. Their construction has led to continuing advances in civil engineering technology, leading to bigger spans and the use of new materials. Their failures, too, whether from an inadequate understanding of engineering principles or as a result of natural catastrophes or warfare, have often caused immense hardship as a result of lost lives or broken communications. In this book, a sister publication to his earlier An…

By David McFetrich

Click here to buy both titles for £95.00
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