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V. Ryan 2001 - 2009

THE STONE SLAB BRIDGE

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At the same time as wood beam bridges and wood frame bridges, stone slab bridges were also used widely. They are still used today as they are very strong especially if used to cross small gaps.

This is a stone beam bridge. A slab of stone is laid across a stream.

The stone slabs are selected for their shape/form. They must be flat and also wide enough for one or two people to pass over the gap. Sometimes the stone needs to be shaped a little, by the use of a stone chisel. Even the best stone slabs may need some shaping.

In early times the chisel would be made from wrought iron. Today stone chisels are made from steel which is specially hardened.

   

 

   

The introduction of stone bridges allowed people to cross wider streams and small rivers. This is achieved by building small pillars of stone and laying the stone slabs across them. In this way wide gaps can be crossed. in the animation below a stone pillar holds up two stone slabs.

QUESTIONS:

1. In your opinion which is the strongest, a stone slab bridge of a wood frame bridge? Explain your answer.

2. Draw a diagram that represents three stone slabs laid across a gap (for example a stream). Remember to include two stone pillars.

   
   

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