Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

The Oldest Bridge In Australia

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June 13th, 2011 Posted 6:00 pm

I went for a drive up to the Blue Mountains today and on the way home I noticed a signpost near the small town of Glenbrook pointing to an historical attraction called Lennox Bridge. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a detour and see what it was all about.

Turns out it was the first stone bridge ever built in Australia, and the oldest bridge on the mainland still in existence today!

Designed by David Lennox in 1832, it was constructed by convicts and completed the following year, crossing over Brookside Creek, and providing a link between what is now the western-Sydney township of Emu Plains and Glenbrook. It stood part of the main western route for 93 years before the highway was diverted, and its operation continued until the 1950’s when the bridge was closed due to damage caused by over a century of stress from increasingly-heavy vehicular use.

It was eventually restored and opened again for traffic in 1982. Today it can be accessed via the Mitchells Pass tourist drive, and I’m glad I took the turnoff and had the chance to witness this incredible piece of Aussie architecture:

Some of the original stones

 

A.D. 1833

 

The view from the eastern approach

 

Life is what you make it

 

These days the bridge is only there for show because the road just up ahead is closed!

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2011 at 6:00 pm and is filed under Australia, Blog, Photography, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “The Oldest Bridge In Australia”

  1. Barb
    7:02 am on June 15th, 2011

    Those locked gates can be very dangerous!
    Great photos Dan. Love that first one with the trickle of water flowing through.
    Great find!

  2. tonyH
    1:37 pm on April 5th, 2013

    Nice pics, but oldest bridge in Australia 1832? That honour goes to the bridge at Richmond Tasmania, built 1823

  3. Gerard Imer
    1:59 am on November 11th, 2013

    Lennox Bridge/Horseshoe Bridge is actually the second oldest existing bridge in Australia – 1833. Richmond Bridge in Tasmania is the oldest – completed in 1825.

  4. Dan Schaumann
    5:32 pm on November 11th, 2013

    Thanks Tony & Gerard, that’s correct – Lennox Bridge is the oldest existing bridge on mainland Australia, not the whole of Australia.

  5. Samuel Condon
    8:40 pm on January 19th, 2014

    Actually Australia’s oldest bridge is in Sydney in the royal botanical gardens
    Finished June 1816
    http://rebelhand.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/did-nicholas-build-the-oldest-bridge-in-australia/

  6. Peter Optland
    12:03 am on June 30th, 2014

    There are several bridges on Mainland Australia older than this one such as Clare’s Bridge, Thomas James Bridge (still in use) and Circuit Flat Bridge to name a few. Whilst Lennox Bridge is a beauty and an old Bridge, it does annoy me that so many people say it’s the oldest bridge in mainland Australia when within 100km of it are around 5 bridges that pre-date it.

  7. Jil cole
    8:47 am on August 1st, 2018

    Similar bridges at Carcoar are completely ignored by Blayney Council and historians. They deserve to be protected, but no one will listen. Two bridges built near each other and they look like the Lennox Bridge. They are not on the ‘heritage register’ but need to be recognised and conserved before they are totally destroyed by ‘progress’

  8. Dicko
    4:00 am on October 18th, 2018

    This is NOT the oldest bridge in Australia

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