Swinging Bridge – Murulla Street Murrurundi
In Murulla St, just before the intersection with Mayne St, is a suspension bridge onced called Bush’s Bridge for pedestrians over the river.
This current bridge over the Page’s River was built before World War 1 and is the third bridge on this site. One of the former bridges was wide enough to transport the Chief Magistrate buggy from the Royal Hotel to the Courthouse in times of flood.
The Courthouse and the Royal Hotel were both built in 1863. Judges at the time travelled to Murrurundi for legal sessions and stayed at the Royal Hotel and then crossed to the Court House.
The water in the Page River was frequently too deep to safely cross so a bridge was built for his honour’s convenience. The original bridge was washed away during a flood and so the bridge that we see today was built by Keegan in 1927.
The Swinging Bridge is a significant tourist attraction and leads from the highway to the historic courthouse.
The bridge has been fully restored and is accessible to the general public to use.
A walkway was built to connect the people living on the north side of the river easier access to St Paul’s Church. It was built and known as the E.G. Bush Bridge.
To cross, people had a steep stairway to climb on the northern end. In 2009 the walkway was modernised and long sloping ramps built at both ends in lieu of the stairway.
This has made access so much easier for people especially the elderly and those in motor scooters and wheelchairs.
Now children who live on the south side of the river have cut a fair distance off their cycle rides to school.
Bridges have played an important part in the history of the town. The Page’s River history tells of dry beds for months on time, then a pleasant stream and also occasional sudden floods that commence at the head of the Page’s River in the Liverpool Ranges only a few miles upstream and which come down preceded by a huge wave that floods all in its way.
Before 1859 the town was unable to be crossed sometimes for days on end. When the water came down with a roar in the flood of 1859 the mail cart was attempting to cross the Great North Road. Four horses were drowned and 10 mail bags were washed away. It was after this event that the first wooden bridge was built. A century later the bridge was replaced by the structure that we have today called Arnolds Bridge.
EG Bush Bridge