30th December 2020

Purton Road Bridge Frieze Swindon
Photograph of Purton Road Bridge by D and M Ball. Taken from their website.

Purton Road Bridge Frieze

Purton Road Bridge Swindon – something I’ve seen often but have never thought too much about until Roger Ogle posted the photograph below on Facebook. That prompted me to ask him for more information about it.

Purton Road Bridge Swindon - photo by Roger Ogle
Purton Road Bridge Swindon – photo by Roger Ogle
Map location of Purton Road bridge

West and north joined

Newspaper clipping from 1993 edition of Swindon Link magazine

Back in 1993 the Link Magazine, created by Roger Ogle, covered the building of the new bridge.

The extract reads – paraphrased

‘A new bridge, marrying art and engineering and making access easier between west and north Swindon opened five months ahead of schedule.

The £1.25 million structure spans the Swindon to Glocs railway line and is the town’s biggest piece of public art.

The bridge parapets form a 140ft long relief sculpture frieze created by artist Richard Perry. The frieze incorporates motifs of transport, industry and environment.

The then Thamesdown District council and Wiltshire County Council joined together to commission the project. It formed part of plans made 15 years ago. At that point the two councils agreed on the building of Roughmoor and Shaw. The project included:

a. A smaller bridge over the nearby River Ray and …
b. … 700 metres of new road joining Moredon with Sparcells.

The then mayor of Thamesdown, Doreen Dart, observed that the bridge was a milestone in the town’s development. She went on to say that it represented a link between the western expansion and future development in the north of the town …

… Although the old northern road will at length become a footpath/cycle route from which you can see the artwork, there’s no obvious pedestrian route to allow viewing.’

newspaper clipping - Swindon Link magazine showing Doreen Dart
Link Magazine January 1994

Other posts about public art

This blog holds a great number of posts about public art in Swindon. I must have written about most of it at some time or another. Depending on how well I’ve organised and categorised my posts you should find most of them in this blog category here: https://swindonian.me/category/public-art-sculpture/