ELDER GROVE – CEDAR GROVE – BOYNE VIEW
Trim was a walled town with five major gates along the circuit of its walls. The Sheep Gate is now the only surviving gate. Athboy Gate, Navan Gate and Water Gate no longer exist but continue to be used on maps and are familiar to local residents as areas or place names. I visited Trim with the intention of exploring the Watergate Area in detail but I had to abandon my exploration as the ground was waterlogged and because of a very intense rainstorm
There were a number of routes available but I arrived here via the footbridge that passes from Jonathan Swift Street to a series of paths or trails on the opposite side of the River Boyne. According to Google Maps it is known as Trim Footbridge and it is currently closed [it was fully operational when I was in the town]. There is another pedestrian bridge at the castle but I will discuss this at a later date.
The new Watergate Bridge is nearby. The original four-span road bridge, built 1904, consisted of four cast-iron spans resting on concrete piers. It was an excellent example of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century construction. Cast-iron and concrete construction dating from this period is unusual in Ireland. A plaque on the west side of bridge read: ‘Watergate Bridge 1904 built by J.H. Moore G.S. Collins & Newman. Contractors”.
As the old bridge had fallen into disrepair and provided a flooding constraint the bridge had to be replaced. After completing detailed options analysis and evaluation, the architects undertook the design of a low rise, parabolic arch, road bridge, with cantilevered pedestrian walkways.
The new bridge spans 35m and comprises pentagonal arch chords tapering in both directions with pairs of Macalloy hanger bars connected to the main longitudinal members. Structural steel transverse members and end diaphragms support a 225mm reinforced concrete deck, which acts compositely with superstructure steelwork. The clear span arch solution minimised the structural depth and eliminated the significant in-river piers that had exacerbated the regular upstream flooding problems.
In 2010 a medieval cobbled street surface was uncovered in Trim while a trench was being dug along Watergate Street as part of the town’s street reconstruction programme. The former street was three-and-a-half feet below the current ground level and was discovered as a trench was being excavated to lay a sewer pipe.