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An Encyclopaedia of World Bridges (Hardback)

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books

By David McFetrich
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 250 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781526794468
Published: 21st April 2022

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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 Encyclopaedia of British Bridges (Pen & Sword 2019), David McFetrich gives brief descriptions of some 1200 bridges from more than 170 countries around the world. They represent a wide range of different types of structure (such as beam, cantilever, stayed and suspension bridges). Although some of the pictures are of extremely well-known structures, many are not so widely recognisable and a separate section of the book includes more than seventy lists of bridges with distinctly unusual characteristics in their design, usage and history.

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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 British Bridges (Hardback)

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…

By David McFetrich

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