St. Helens Bridge, Crawfords Burn

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Where: Movilla Park, Bangor BT19, UK

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When: Unknown

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Having spent some time recently down in the sunny South East, or over in beautiful Sligo, it seems appropriate that we visit the wee North. This fine manorial style bridge looks a formidable crossing over a very minor road. Given that, even 100 years ago it was overgrown, how does it look today?

While still somewhat overgrown, as evidenced by the contemporary Flickr shots linked from the comments, we are at least delighted that this striking bridge still stands. Today's contributors tell us that this bridge was built, along with the nearby Helen's Bay Railway Station in the 1860s. Designed by architect Benjamin Ferrey, the project was bankrolled by Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, whose lands the line traversed. And whose coat-of-arms still adorn the bridge....

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_02853

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8500
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland sthelensbridge crawfordsburn northernireland ulster northofireland manorial fortified trees road helensbay clandeboyeavenue marquisofdufferinandava lorddufferin benjaminferry barondufferin railwaystation railwaybridge dufferinandava coatofarms

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    • 20/Dec/2017 09:29:16

    Must be here

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    • 20/Dec/2017 09:43:23

    [[email protected]] The little path is Clandeboye Avenue according to here: They have links to other photos, showing different levels of overgrownness.

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    • 20/Dec/2017 09:44:53

    The coat of arms is that of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, whose land it went through.

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    • 20/Dec/2017 09:59:24

    Sometimes flickr is amazing - in 2013 via [] [] I think the bridge has been restored since 2013 - see this image via tripadvisor -

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    domenico milella

    • 20/Dec/2017 10:03:24

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

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    • 20/Dec/2017 10:47:39

    From this (p 27 - 28 and 31 - 32), Lord Dufferin paid for and designed the station that was crossing his land. The station was originally called Clandeboye, the name was changed to Helen's bay before 1886.

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    • 20/Dec/2017 12:08:41

    That's a very impressive bridge. Like something out a a Pre-Raphelite dream.... I just spotted the second one. Pretty incredible.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 20/Dec/2017 13:21:05

    If it is of a piece with the station, the DIA says the Architect was Benjamin Ferry, who also designed the gateway at Killyleagh Castle and St. John's CoI Church in Sandymount, Dublin.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 20/Dec/2017 20:08:08

    Thanks [[email protected]], [], [], [], and [] for the insights. I've attempted to capture a summary in the description and updated the map and tags accordingly.

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    • 20/Dec/2017 20:21:52

    This book (The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland By William Alan McCutcheon) and indeed the Wikipedia article on Clandeboye Estate suggests that the road we see was used by Lord Dufferin himself. To get from his estate house to his private waiting room in the station. No surprise then that the bridge, arms and walkway were so grandiose and personalised. Very different times.

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    Canadian Pacific

    • 09/Jan/2018 13:26:07

    Very whimsical! A bright that looks more like a castle!