Pontoon Bridge FOXFORD

TurloughCounty Mayo

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Pontoon Bridge on Lough Conn, in County Mayo by William Henry Bartlett, engraved by H Adlard. Published for the proprietors by George Virtue, 26 Ivy Lane, London.

The village of Pontoon (Irish: Pont Abhann - "river point") is located on the shores of Loughs Conn & Cullen, near the town of Foxford. Pontoon has long been a famed angling destination for fishermen from many corners of the globe. 

In 1834, repairs for the Mail Coach Road, from Castlebar to Sligo, between Castlebar and the bridge of Pontoon were put out to tender. (Today, the bridge can be reached within a 20 min drive from Castlebar). The above engraving by William Henry Bartlett (1809-54) was a drawing of the newly refurbished bridge. 

In 1837 Lewis wrote: 

"At the south-eastern extremity of Lough Conn is Lough Cullen, sometimes called the Lower Conn; it is separated from the lake of that name by a narrow strait, over which a bridge named Pontoon bridge was built, on the formation of the new mail line to Sligo. An extraordinary phenomenon is visible here in the alternate ebbing and flowing of these great lakes; the water is seen sometimes rushing with great force through the channel beneath Pontoon bridge into Lough Cullen, while at others it runs with equal force from the lake into Lough Conn, and this is often observable when the waters of the upper lake are much swollen by floods from the mountains, while the lower lake or Lough Cullen, is the natural outlet of the whole of this immense volume of water."

Pontoon Bridge circa 1970

Did your ancestor cross this bridge en route to a port of emigration? 

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