Hampden Bridge is a suspension bridge across the Kangaroo River, located in the town of Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales, Australia. It is named after Lord Hampden, Governor of New South Wales from 1895 to 1899.

History

Hampden Bridge was designed by Ernest Macartney de Burgh, the colony's Assistant Engineer for Bridges, to replace the decaying timber truss bridge which originally spanned the Kangaroo River. Construction began in 1895 and the bridge was opened on the 19 May 1898, just six days before floods washed the old bridge away.

A public holiday was declared in Kangaroo Valley for the bridge opening. The bridge was opened by the Minister for Public Works, J.H. Young.

Description

A well-known local tourist attraction, Hampden Bridge features four large crenellated turrets made of locally quarried sandstone. It is 77 metres long (252 ft) and one lane wide. The bridge forms part of the Moss Vale Road. Hampden Bridge is the only surviving suspension bridge from the colonial period in New South Wales.

The bridge's medieval tower style is an example of the Gothic Revival architecture popular in late nineteenth-century Australia. This elaborate form, and the relatively sophisticated structural design of the span, reflect the importance of this river crossing at the time of construction: the Cambewarra Road (now the Moss Vale Road) was then a major route from Sydney to the south coast of NSW.

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