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Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge and linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset, UK. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a distinctive landmark that is often used as a symbol of Bristol. It is a grade I listed building.

The bridge has long had a reputation as a suicide spot. Because of this, dedicated telephones with a direct line to The Samaritans were placed beside the bridge. However, the phones have since been vandalised and there are now only wires dangling from where the phones once hung. In 1885, a 22 year old woman called Sarah Ann Henley survived a jump from the bridge when her billowing skirts acted as a parachute, and subsequently lived into her eighties.

The idea of building a bridge across the Avon Gorge originated in 1754, with a bequest in the will of Bristolian merchant William Vick, who left £1,000 invested with instructions that when the interest had accumulated to £10,000, it should be used for the purpose of building a stone bridge between Clifton Down (which was in Gloucestershire, outside the City of Bristol, until the 1830s) and Leigh Woods (then in Somerset), both of which were barely populated at the time.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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