A Grade I listed structure, Clifton Suspension Bridge is deemed worthy of the highest quality conservation and record keeping in order to preserve one of the oldest surviving iron suspension bridges in the world. Our collections are now online with much archive content to discover, while ongoing research offers new opportunities to understand the bridge and its surrounding environment.
Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. A young and innovative engineer, it was his first project at age 23 and came about because of a competition. Brunel described the bridge as ‘my first child, my darling’, and the ingenious bridge, which took 33 years to complete, marked the beginning of a great engineering career.
Traversing the Avon Gorge, Clifton Suspension Bridge has become a highly recognisable structure that is one of Bristol’s top tourist attractions. Sir Abraham Elton called it ‘the ornament of Bristol and the wonder of the age’ back in 1831, and while – thanks to technological advances – wonders have moved on, Clifton Suspension Bridge remains the enduring symbol of the city of Bristol here in the UK.
Our collections demonstrate the enduring renown of Bristol’s most iconic landmark. Items range from historic souvenirs, commemorative chinaware and postcards to artworks, prints and photographs of the bridge. You can search our collection archive below: