While exploring Dublin, I came across this charming historic bridge which was built in 1816 and crosses the River Liffey. It's name...the Ha'penny Bridge.
Before the Ha'penny Bridge was built there were seven ferries, operated by a William Walsh, which crossed the River Liffey. Unfortunatley, the ferries were in bad condition and Walsh was informed that he had to either fix them or build a bridge. Walsh chose the latter option and was granted the right to extract a ha'penny toll from anyone crossing the River Liffey for 100 years. Initially the toll charge was based not on the cost of construction, but to match the charges levied by the ferries it replaced. For a time, the toll was increased to a penny-ha'penny (1½ pence). While the toll was in operation, there were turnstiles at either end of the bridge. The toll was eventually dropped in 1919.
The manufacture of the Ha'penny Bridge was commissioned by the then Lord Mayor of Dublin, John Claudius Beresford with the Coalbrookdale Company of England, who cast the ribs of the bridge in 18 sections then shipped it to Dublin. The design and erection was supervised by John Windsor, one of the company's foremen and a pattern-maker. The bridge has a 43 metre span, is 3 metres in width and rises an elegant 3 metres above the river. The superstructure is composed of three arch ribs, each formed in six segments. Originally called the Wellington Bridge (after the Dublin-born Duke of Wellington), the name of the bridge eventually changed to Liffey Bridge. The Liffey Bridge (Irish: Droichead na Life) remains the bridge's official name to this day, although it is most commonly known and affectionately referred to as the Ha'penny Bridge.
Dubliners love their Ha'penny Bridge, and this is evident as many business establishments in the area contain it's name. It is interesting to note that when the Ha’penny Bridge first opened, a mere 450 pairs of feet daily walked across it; However, today, in a vastly expanded Dublin, an average of 30,000 people cross the bridge each day and would be glad to pay a ha’penny to do so!