The Lennox Bridge had a difficult start. Originally tipped to be built from imported iron components it was then proposed to have an arch so narrow it would block river flow! Political infighting continued to delay its start until 1836 when a mix of Lennox’s determination and Governor Bourke’s impatience kickstarted the creation of a sandstone bridge 30 feet wide (9m) and spanning 90 feet (27m). Labour issues slowed down the building work but by 1839 the bridge was finally opened to two-way traffic.
At first the bridge had no name. It was almost named after then Governor, Sir William Denison but a lack of interest left the way open for it to become known as Lennox Bridge in 1867. The bridge did bear the name ‘Lennox Bridge’ in its stone but it has since worn away with time.
David Lennox’s first bridge, on the main western road at Lapstone Hill in the Blue Mountains, was finished in 1833. It is the oldest, remaining bridge in mainland Australia. The 110-foot clear span bridge at Lansdowne over Prospect Creek followed in 1836.
The Lennox Bridge in Parramatta is an example of the craftsmanship and ingenuity of Lennox who was restrained by budget and in working with the landscape around him. His bridge literally bridged community and also figuratively by creating a physical structure that allowed travel. He helped form community connections that would not be possible without the bridge and without his skilling of convicts.
All three of these bridges still stand today.
They say the LENNOX BRIDGE sign was carved into the parapet on the downriver side of the span. Can you see where it might have been?