Hampden Bridge is not only a remarkable example of Victoria engineering, but is also a unique demonstration to create an architecturally romanticised structure in a beautiful remote rural location. The combination of wooden suspension bridge and English Medieval towers representing a castle portcullis have contributed to giving the community that live in Kangaroo Valley and all those that cross the Kangaroo River at this point a dramatic sense of place unlike another in Australia.
A brief history of Hampden Bridge
- Hampden Bridge (RTA Bridge No.875) is a single span suspension bridge located on MR 261 (Moss Vale Road), over the Kangaroo River at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales.
- Once Kangaroo Valley was opened to free settlement in the mid nineteenth century, the population grew from 200 in 1861 to 1,400 in 1881 as dairy farmers flocked to the valley.
- As the local farming activities reached a peak in the 1870s, it was decided to construct a town span timber truss bridge over the Kangaroo River.
- The Hampden Suspension bridge was designed by Ernest Macartney de Burgh, assisted by Percy Allan.
- Hampden Bridge was built to replace the timber truss bridge of 1875-9, which was in a state of decay by 1893.
- The bridge was built at a cost of $16, 764 by contractors Loveridge and Hudson of Bowral.
- Only six days after the bridge was completed, a great flood carried away the old timber bridge which was in the process of being demolished.
- Hamden Bridge was officially opened by Hon. J. H Young, Minister for Works and was name after Lord Hamden, Governor of NSW 1895 – 1899.