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Kelvinbridge and Great Western Road

Kelvinbridge and Great Western Road

Commonly referred to as Kelvinbridge, the name of the surrounding area, the Great Western Bridge is the third bridge to cross the River Kelvin. The oldest bridge was built in the early 19th century and a second bridge was added in 1840 to carry the Great Western Road across the river. On the east bank of the river at the end of the first bridge was a cottage built for the tollkeeper. Both of these earlier bridges were removed when the third and current bridge, one of the most picturesque in Glasgow, was erected in 1889-1891.

The Great Western Road, at 5km (3 miles) Glasgow’s longest and straightest road, runs from St. George’s Cross by the M8 in the east, to Anniesland Cross in the west. It was originally built as a toll road and now marks the southern end of the A82. Lining the sides of it are some of the city’s finest terraces, and a number of interesting boutiques to spend hours at. The boulevard was serviced by trams until the 1950s.

The site of the former Kelvinbridge Railway Station and the tunnels is just behind where this photo was taken from. The Kelvinbridge Subway Station sits to the right behind the trees, roughly at the location of the old tollbooth cottage. The small seating area on the left, which is always packed on sunny days, is part of The Big Blue restaurant, and the spire of Lansdowne Parish Church is in the background.

Glasgow Trivia #7: The depth stick in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo isn’t just to measure the depth of the River Kelvin, but to remind people of the height of the waters during the December 1994 flood, according to a friendly and talkative local my friends and I met whilst out taking photos along the River Kelvin. The flooding was unprecedented and had a peak flow of 191 cubic meters per second, somewhere along the lines of a 1 in 200 years flood. Because of the abandoned underground Central Line which crosses the Kelvin at Kelvinbridge, the flooding river continued down a secondary path south in the underground tunnels.

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