Bridging the Tamar’s past and future thanks to National Lottery players

The bridges across the Tamar
The engineering legacy of the Tamar Estuary’s historic bridges is set to get a new lease of life as plans for a learning and heritage centre get the go ahead.

The Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee has been awarded initial support for a £272,700 project to celebrate the heritage of both the Tamar Bridge and Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge.

“As well as celebrating the built and social heritage of Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge and the Tamar Bridge, the project will also celebrate their engineering significance and continue that legacy.” Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West

For more than 50 years the site has been a popular rest point for people travelling across the bridges, often to enjoy the views but rarely to learn about their history. The Bridging the Tamar project aims to change that.

Outdoor classrooms, a photography archive, guided tours and mimic control centre screens demonstrating how operators manage and monitor the road bridge will bring the heritage of the bridges to life. A new viewing point for the 19th-century Royal Albert Bridge will also be created.

A Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) hub, overlooking the two bridges, will provide learning and training opportunities.

A tale of two bridges

  • The Grade I Listed Royal Albert Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed shortly before his death in 1859
  • Almost exactly 100 years later, work started on the Tamar Bridge
  • At the time of its construction the Tamar Bridge was the country’s longest suspension bridge – a true feat of engineering
  • Both bridges were – and remain – key parts of the South West’s transport infrastructure

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we’re delighted to offer our support for these exciting plans to reveal the history of Tamar’s bridges and secure their future. As well as celebrating the built and social heritage of Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge and the Tamar Bridge, the project will also celebrate their engineering significance and continue that legacy with the creation of a STEAM hub and learning opportunities for people of all ages. We look forward to seeing the plans develop.”

Back to top of page