Kings Gate Bridge

World-famous as the setting for the 1969 investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle is Wales’ most culturally significant national monument and its most popular, receiving over 200,000 visitors a year.

This modest footbridge, for the first time, provided an accessible route into this major World Heritage site. Suitable for wheelchair use, the bridge unlocked a profoundly emotive cultural experience for many visitors previously excluded due to disability.

The sinuous weathering steel bridge flows gracefully across the divide, created by a protective ditch: bold enough to assert its presence, subtle enough to chime well with its historic surroundings.

Crucial to the brief was delivering a non-invasive structural schematic that did not apply additional loading to the historic masonry, the capacity of which was unknown. The proposed, geometrically complex, bridge requires no support from the castle itself and was lifted into place in a single day: a major achievement in buildability.

Lean on materials, economically designed, the new footbridge wastes nothing in construction. With no applied finishes – weathering steel was chosen for its rich, brick-red lustre to contrast with the castle’s smoke-grey masonry – it requires almost no maintenance.

The result is a thoroughly indigenous structure that enhances and extends the life of Wales’ most significant heritage site.

Location
Caernarfon Castle

Team
Client
CADW
Lead Consultant
Ramboll

Design Stages
2008
Concept Design to Construction