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151005-04. © NRT, 2005
Skerton Bridge, Lancaster, UK, 15 October, 2005

Originally known as 'New Bridge', I suppose this is the oldest bridge in the city; pity it doesn't link more picturesque parts of Lancaster.
Designed by Thomas Harrison and built by the County between 1783 and 1788 for £14,000, the bridge was revolutionary, being one of the first in the UK with a flat deck for its full length (167 m), and was copied for London's Waterloo Bridge. The structure is thought to be based on the Roman bridge in Rimini, though the five elliptical arches, each spanning ~20 m, prove Harrison had a knowledge of (17th Century) Cartesian geometry.
I hadn't previously noticed that the alcoves in the bridge pillars actually go all the way through. Apparently that's a functional feature invented in the 18th Century, allowing water to pass during extreme floods.

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Day in the life... © NRT, 2005