Camden’s Dead Dog Bridge re-opens

red brick coloured bridge with person crossing

The Canal & River Trust has completed a £533,000 ten-week project to repair the Dead Dog Bridge on the Regent’s Canal in Camden, including painting the bridge its original ‘Indian Red’ colour.

Built in 1846, the historic Grade II Listed bridge is an important local landmark carrying the Regent’s Canal towpath across the canal basin beneath the Camden Interchange Warehouse, known as Dead Dog Tunnel. It’s said to be the busiest canal footbridge in the country with over one million walking and cycling visits per year.

The bridge repairs have been funded by an award from Postcode Earth Trust from money raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The work, which began in mid-January, included; repairs to the bridge’s wrought iron lattice parapets; cleaning of the underlying cast iron beams; and cleaning and repointing the abutments and approach parapets. 

“The Interchange Basin Towpath Bridge, known locally as ‘Dead Dog’ bridge, is a key route for people using the canal through Camden and, with over one million visits each year, is one of the busiest bridges on our network,” says Ros Daniels, the Canal & River Trust’s director for London & South East.

“Now over 175 years old, thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and with consent for the London Borough of Camden’s conservation team, our engineers have worked with specialist contractors to carefully repair, clean and repaint the bridge’s historic parapets and repoint the abutments.  

“The works will ensure this historic bridge continues to carry millions of visitors enjoying the Regent’s Canal in Camden, for many years to come.”

Built at the beginning of the 20th century by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the Grade II Listed red brick Interchange Warehouse in Camden was designed to bring together canal, rail and road transport in one covered building, with three layers of storage.  

Phil Emery, Canal & River Trust regional heritage adviser, comments: “In recent years, the bridge’s striking ironwork has been painted black and white, but working with a specialist to analyse the paint layers, we discovered the original colour was most likely to have been ‘Indian Red’.  

“The name refers to the pigment used to create the paint colour, made from ground haematite ore obtained in Bengal, the historic region divided between modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. This paint colour was used by railway companies, including the London & Birmingham Railway Co (L&BR), which originally owned the Interchange canal basin, whose entrance the bridge crosses.”

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