One of Oxford’s most iconic landmarks, the Bridge of Sighs (aka Hertford Bridge) has celebrated its 100th birthday. Despite taking its nickname from the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Hertford College says that its design is not based on the Venetian bridge.

In an unusual celebration, the College installed a temporary special sound installation for passers-by. The installation entitled Sospiri, meaning “sighs” in Italian, was played underneath the bridge featuring a composition of sighs recorded by students and staff.

Here at the Oxford Scholastica Academy, we have compiled a list of our Top 5 UK Bridges!

  • Millennium Bridge – A tourist favourite with St. Paul’s Cathedral on one side and the Tate Modern Gallery on the other. When initially designed in 2002, it was temporarily closed due to wobbling – see the video below for more!
  • Clifton Suspension Bridge – Bristol had this designed by Britain’s most famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 1860s. It was the venue for the first modern bungee jump in 1979 and the last ever Concorde flight in 2003.
  • Forth Railway Bridge – Scotland’s largest listed “building” was famously painted continuously for its first 100 years. Modern paint technology means this only needs painting every 20 years now.
  • Tower Bridge – The rumour goes that an American oil baron thought he was buying this London iconic twin-towered bridge in 1968 when in fact he purchased the less aesthetically pleasing London Bridge, which is now reconstructed in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
  • Last but not least Hertford College’s Bridge of Sighs – there is a false legend saying that a survey of the health of students was taken, and as Hertford’s students were the heaviest, the bridge was closed to force them to take extra exercise via the stairs!

Photo by JvL (CC BY 2.0)