With more than 2,200 miles of waterways, canals, and rivers, it’s no wonder why the United Kingdom has so many bridges.
In our latest blog series, we’re visiting some of the country’s most beautiful and interesting bridges. First up: Cambridge’s Mathematical Bridge.
The River Cam runs through the famous university town of Cambridge, known as much for its renowned scholars as it is for its picturesque scenery along the water. As such, Cambridge, despite its small size, still boasts 23 bridges, many of which have unique stories attached to them.
While the Bridge of Sighs, named after the one in Venice, is perhaps Cambridge’s most famous, the Mathematical Bridge might be the most legendary. All sorts of myths surround the Mathematical Bridge, which some say was built by Sir Isaac Newton, who designed it to stand without nuts and bolts.
In truth, the wooden footbridge was designed by William Etheridge and built by James Essex in 1749. It got its name from the way the timbers are arranged on tangents, known as tangent-and-radial trussing. This design allows the bridge to support itself. It’s all pretty genius — but would we expect anything less in a town that’s home to some of the smartest people in the world?