Arched Bridge over Ireland’s River Shannon

Arched Bridge over Ireland's River Shannon

Arched Bridge over Ireland’s River Shannon.

This arched bridge over the Ireland’s Shannon River connects Lanesborough, County Longford, and Ballyleague, County Roscommon.

This crossing has a rich history dating back to the 9th Century, when it played a key strategic role in defense against the Viking raiders.

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A permanent bridge was built in 1140 — it was replaced in 1667 only to be destroyed in 1690 to stop the advancing Willamite army.

Subsequently, a ferry was used for crossing the Shannon at this location, but a 1702 capsizing claimed the lives of 35 people one morning on their way to the local fair.

Four years later, after a petition to Parliament, stones from a nearby Norman castle were used to build a new bridge.

In 1844, that bridge was demolished to make way for the current bridge, though it originally contained a swivel to allow passage of large boats. The swivel was removed in the 1960s and replaced with a concrete span in 1971.

Now, more than a thousand years after Viking boats traveled these waters, pleasure boats and charter vessels cruise the river, passing under this bridge.

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