by ehistoryadmin on September 16, 2017



The fact that there is a second new bridge in Co. Kildare, and situated on the Liffey, does not seem to be very generally known.

At Newbridge two miles from Leixlip, on the grounds of Colonel Claude Cane, there is a crossing over the Liffey, perhaps the oldest bridge in Ireland, now remaining.  This ancient structure which still remains as strong as when it was built, was erected by John Le Decer, Lord Mayor of Dublin, in the year 1306.  It is in every respect an interesting work of its kind, and promises (Wakeman’s  “Irish Ant’quities”) unless taken in hand by some restorer, to stand the storms and floods of another five hundred years.  Some sixty years ago it was sentenced to destruction as useless, and only escaped demoition through the influence of the then proprietor  of St. Wolstan’s, Richard Cane, who, in a spirit worthy of all commendation, declared that he would rather bear the cost of a new bridge than see one stone of John le Decer’s work removed.

In an essay on the rise and fall of gardening in Ireland, by Joseph C. Walker, M.R.I.A., published in 1700, appears;- an elm of an immense size, which grew near Newbridge, in the County Kildare, and whose leafy honours I remember to have seen laid in the shade just by a great storm, is this celebrated by the Rev. Samuel Shepperd in his poem on Leixlip;-

“Mark where you elm reward his annual prime,

New bridge, thy glory and the beast of time,

From age to age he looks majectic down

Spreads his broad army and covers half the town.”

M. J. D.

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