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Ashford Carbonell Bridge
River Teme, Ashford Carbonell, Shropshire
associated engineer
Thomas Telford
date  25th November 1797
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SO520711
ICE reference number  HEW 1101
The small masonry bridge at Ashford Carbonell is the first known example of Thomas Telford introducing the technique of ‘hollow spandrel construction’ into his work.
Telford designed the segmental single-span arch bridge in 1795, when he was County Surveyor for Shropshire. He went on to use the hollow spandrel (space above the curve of an arch) technique in several of his masonry bridges. Removing the stone spandrel infill reduced the total load on the arch.
The bridge carries a minor road from Ashford Carbonell west to the A49 over the River Teme south of Ludlow. The arch has a span of 24.7m and a rise of 7.3m. The voussiors (wedge-shaped blocks forming the curved parts of the arch) are mostly made of gritstone with some limestone blocks. The spandrel walls are built in local red sandstone. The carriageway is 4.9m wide and there are no footways. A particular feature is the paved invert between the abutments below river level.
Work had in fact been begun on an earlier bridge before just before 1795. However, this structure fell down during construction, a mishap for which the previous contractor forfeited his bond. Telford’s bridge opened in 1797 and was last repaired in 1970.
Stonemason: William Atkins
Carpenter:Thomas Smith
Reserch: RJ
reference sources   CEH W&W

Ashford Carbonell Bridge