Heritage Locations

Galton Bridge, Smethwick

Once the highest iron bridge in the world


Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Roebuck Lane, Smethwick, B66 1HU

B66 1HU

Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

Galton Bridge is a canal bridge in Smethwick, West Midlands, built by Thomas Telford in 1829. It spans Telford's Birmingham Canal Navigations New Main Line carrying Roebuck Lane. When it was constructed, its single span of 46 m (151 ft) was the highest in the world; at the time, Telford's Menai bridge was the longest.

Originally a road bridge it is now restricted to pedestrians.

It is similar to Holt Bridge, Telford's Grade II listed bridge over the River Severn at Holt in Worcestershire and was named after Samuel Galton, a member of the Lunar Society. It was cast by Horseley Ironworks.

The structure is Listed Grade 1.


Burton, Anthony, Thomas Telford, Aurum Press, ISBN-10: 185410652X (2000)

Davies, R. H., The Birmingham Canal Navigations Through Time, Amberley Publishing, ISBN-10: 1445602253 (2010)

Hindley, G., History of the Roads, Peter Davies, ISBN-10: 0806502908 (1971)

Institute of Civil Engineers, Thomas Telford: 250 Years of Inspiration, Thomas Telford, ISBN-10: 0727735004 (2007)

Norrie, Charles Matthew,  Bridging the Years - A Short History of British Civil Engineering, Edward Arnold, ASIN: B0000CJJ7M  (1956)

Quenby, Ron, Thomas Telford's Aqueducts on the Shropshire Union Canal, Swan Hill Press, ISBN-10: 1853102466 (1992)

Rolt, L. T. C., Victorian Engineering, The History Press, ISBN-10: 0750946571 (2007)

Shill, Ray, Birmingham Canal Navigations: At the Heart of the British Canal System, The History Press, ISBN-10: 0752427679 (2002)

Opening Times:
Visible at all times.

How To Find:

By road: Off A457

By rail: Adjacent to Smethwick Galton Bridge Station


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