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An Encyclopaedia of British Bridges (Hardback)

British History Transport Photographic Books Colour Books

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.

"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 it's 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 building bridges hugely challenging but it helps build the future for everyone.

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