Welcome to Belturbet, County Cavan for this week’s Thursday Doors. I’ve been wanting to take a shot of this door for a while now as I love the colourful layers of peeled back paint, which seems to include the wall, too. Many Irish towns and villages use colour to brighten up the place, possibly because on a grey, wet day a row of ordinary buildings can show some individualism and cheer up the passersby. As I thought about this I felt a tug on my arm, reminding me that I was not alone. Tino the dog (aka The Gaffer) was getting bored looking at paint peel, so the least I could do was take him for a ramble along one of our favourite walks in the town.
I love this old bridge, I’m forever taking photos of it. It’s called the Erne Bridge, after the river it spans, and was built in 1836 by James F. Johnstone to the designs of Alexander Armstrong, the County Surveyor. The bridge is an important part of the civil engineering heritage of Belturbet, and demonstrates the technical skill employed in infrastructural works in Ireland in the early 1800’s.
The next bridge we come to is the old railway line, now used as a pedestrian walk and the first part of a link to Turbet Island, an ancient Anglo-Norman mott and bailey fort that deserves a post all to itself. Through the arch on the left you can catch a glimpse of another bridge.
The white bridge in the distance is The River Erne Bridge, part of the Belturbet town bypass, which was officially opened on December 13th, 2013. Ferrovial Agroman PT McWilliams Ltd Joint Venture was contracted to design and build the bridge. Its total length is 150 meters, of which 70 meters spans the river. This type of structure is known as an extrados bridge, which is a cross between a cable stay bridge and an externally prestressed girder bridge. A fairly uncommon structure worldwide, this one is the first of its type to be constructed in Ireland and has won two awards.
Another bridge that was important to me (and The Gaffer) on our walk, was the little green footbridge that links Turbet Island to the rest of the town. This photo was shot from the railway bridge and you can just about see the old Erne Bridge in the distance.
Having completed our circuit of the island I decided that a visit to the marina would be a nice way to end our walk. The geese accompanied us along the pathway for a while until we came to this slipway. Once they caught sight of the river again, they were off. The Gaffer wasn’t too impressed by them and as he hates the water, he turned to me and said, “You must be barking mad if you think I’m going any further.”
After that chilly but lovely walk around Belturbet I think we should all have a nice cup of something warm – mine’s a coffee. Thanks so much for your company and if you’re not too worn out, carry on over to Norm’s blog and see what Thursday Doors awaits you there.