Thursday, May 10, 2012

Battle Bridge over Hawthorne Canal

Battle Bridge  at Taverners Hill - May 2012
Battle Bridge is a stone arch bridge located on Parramatta Road at Taverners Hill in Sydney. It crosses the Hawthorne Canal at this point.

Parramatta Road, linking Sydney to Parramatta, has always been one of Sydney's busiest roads. Its beginnings date back to the earliest Colonial days when convicts carved out a three metre wide track through bushland between 1789 and 1791 to link the two settlements.

By 1822, Parramatta Road was fifteen miles long and had thirty-seven timber bridges. One of these would likely have crossed Battle Creek (also known Long Cove Creek).

By 1865 however this section of the road was described as "notoriously bad". A new sandstone arch bridge to be known as Battle Bridge was constructed in 1873 to replace the timber bridge. Although it was widened on both sides by steel beams and reinforced with a concrete deck in 1937, the high quality of the stonemasonary of the original arch  is still evident today.

Original stone arch of Battle Bridge - May 2012
On a recent visit, I was able to get good access under the Bridge and have a look first hand. 

History Services NSW in its Government Contracts and Contractors Database has the record of a contract being awarded by the Department of Public Works in 1873, to William Wadsworth for the "erection of a stone bridge at Long Cove, Parramatta Road.

A good research item and an interesting find!

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