“The land roughly resembles a hand-made ‘spike’, the term used for stout iron nails at least four inches long used in shipbuilding and in war to ‘spike the enemy’s guns’ by blocking the touch-ho;le of a cannon.” – Paul Elkin – Images of Maritime Bristol
New Goal was commissioned in 1816 – only the gate house on Cumberland Road remains
John Payne shipyard operated on the Cut 1859 – 1924.
In 1895, the New Gaol was sold to The Great Western Railway. Most of the buildings were demolished and replaced with a coal yard and railway sidings.
Report on BBC 15th March 2021.
“A beam supporting a riverside walking route is so corroded that it is at risk of collapse, with potentially fatal consequences, according to a report.
Bristol City Council will spend £1m on replacing the steel beam underneath the Chocolate Path beside Cumberland Road.
A report by the council’s cabinet said the collapse of the path could cause the loss of the city’s Floating Harbour and ‘pose risk to life’.
The Chocolate Path itself is currently closed due to subsidence.
Bristol City Council has identified the beam, which supports the Chocolate Path where it crosses over the sluice gates from Underfall Yard*, as one of nearly a dozen structures in the city’s man-made waterways in “critical” need of repair or replacement in the next few years at a cost of around £14.3m.
The council is set to replace the beam next year and is monitoring other aging structures in the Floating Harbour, New Cut and Feeder Canal.
According to the cabinet report, the collapse of the Chocolate Path at that point would have serious implications.
“Probable resultant failure of this steel girder will potentially result in extensive damage to Underfall sluice outfall resulting in a flooding event or possibly the loss of the Floating Harbour, due to water loss into the New Cut river,” it said.
“Collapse of the structure poses risk to life, reputational risk, financial risk and loss of function of Underfall sluice gates,” it said.
If the bridge is not replaced then the Chocolate Path would be unable to reopen as planned in July 2022, according to the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Work is under way on repairing the path and stabilising Cumberland Road, which is also at risk of subsidence.”
The Chocolate Path reopened in 2023
*It is possible that this was the beam put in by Brunel in 1834 when it was converted from an overfall.
There is still a plaque on the bridge in 2019 saying it was built by Lysaght Ltd Engineers Bristol in 1900.
Temporary Closure Goalferry Bridge 2022
The £1m restoration project will see Gaol Ferry bridge shut for between six and nine months when work starts on 22 August 2022.Bristol City Council said the option of a temporary bridge was too difficult and expensive.It said the ornate suspension bridge, which opened in 1935, was in very poor condition and needed structural repairs. This will include replacing steelwork and rotten timbers and repairing the steel lattice work and some stonework.
Work still proceeding at a snails pace in July 2023…until September