Wollaston Bridge at Warrnambool was erected across the Merri River in 1890 to facilitate access to the Wollaston Estate of Sir Walter Manifold. The design and construction of the bridge is attributed to Warrnambool contractor Arthur P. Dobson. In 1967 the Wollaston Bridge was by-passed by a new reinforced concrete structure located adjacent, and it is now used as a foot bridge. The Wollaston Bridge is a thirty metre long suspension bridge with a timber deck and superstructure suspended from steel cables anchored across four square tapered stone pillars to approach abutments. The pillars are constructed of stone and have cast iron caps with the steel cables passing over cast iron saddles within the pillars. The cables used in the suspension mechanism came from old Melbourne tram routes. The bridge has a timber balustrade independent of the structure.
How is it significant?
Wollaston Bridge is of architectural, aesthetic and historical importance to the state of Victoria
Why is it significant?
Wollaston Bridge is of architectural and aesthetic importance as an excellent and rare surviving example of a cable suspension bridge in Victoria. It is a sophisticated engineering structure of a substantial span and of notable aesthetic quality with its combination of materials including the stone pillars with cast iron capping, timber substructure and steel cables.
Wollaston Bridge is of social and historical importance for its associations with Sir Walter Manifold who payed for the bridge and who managed the Wollaston property from 1885 until the end of World War One when the property was divided up for soldier settlements. Sir Walter Manifold was elected to the Legislative Council for Western Province in 1908. When Sir John Davies retired as president of the council in 1919, Manifold was elected. Knighted in 1920 he presided until 1923 when ill health forced him to retire. Wollaston Bridge is a rare example of a substantial privately funded bridge.