27 July 2017
Yorkshire Bridges: 14. Blonk Bridge, Sheffield
The next bridge upstream from Smithfield Bridge is Blonk Bridge, which carries Blonk Street across the River Don.
This is a three-span masonry arch bridge, completed in 1828 by Doncaster-based architects Woodhead and Hurst, the contractor being a Mr Birchett. It cost £250 to build.
The spans are elliptical in shape, or possibly three-centered. The masonry looks well detailed, with the facing voussoirs tying into the main spandrel stone courses, although the geometry is such that the spandrel courses are all of a different height.
The most attractive feature on the bridge is its downstream parapet, which is a decorative cast iron balustrade. It looks pleasant from the outside, and is very nicely painted on the inner face. The casting is "one-sided" which looks decidedly odd from close at hand.
The upstream parapet is in reinforced concrete, and quite out of character with the rest of the structure. There were plans to replace this with a metal parapet back in 2007, but evidently nothing came of it.
The bridge was Listed Grade II in the early 1970s.