Did Nicholas build the oldest bridge in Australia?

This blogger wrote a little history about the MacQuarie Culvert in Australia, which was claimed to be the oldest built in Australia. The question here is whether Nicholas Delaney built this bridge. The bridge was mentioned in the Mystery Bridge article on the culverts in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. More here: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/mystery-bridge-nr-86-brick-culverts-spanning-drainage-canals-and-gullies-along-the-north-sea/

But before reading that, why not read about this culvert and its unique history? 🙂

A Rebel Hand

If you visit the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, take a few minutes to look for a small bridge over a stream near the Wollemi Pine, ‘Australia’s homegrown Christmas tree’, close to the information booth.

This is the Macquarie Culvert.

Macquarie Culvert in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, the oldest bridge in Australia. CC via Wikipedia Macquarie Culvert, CC via Wikipedia

The two brick arches were built as part of the construction of Mrs Macquarie’s Road, which Nicholas Delaney and his gang finished on her birthday in June 1816. They had a double purpose: a drain for the creek’s water, and a bridge.


Built from sandstock brick, the culvert is both typical of early 19th-century drain construction and historically significant, the historian Anna Wong says. But at the end of the 20th century it was in a state of disrepair, with most of the mortar gone and a rare giant fern’s roots threatening to damage it further.

And the original road was covered…

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