A bridge nicknamed the Dead Dog Bridge next to the Regents Canal in Camden has reopened after it was restored by the Canal and River Trust.

Dead Dog Bridge (c) Canal & River Trust

Built in 1846 close to Camden High Street, the historic bridge is an important local landmark carrying the Regent’s Canal towpath across the canal basin beneath the Camden Interchange Warehouse (Dead Dog Tunnel), and is the busiest canal footbridge in the country with over one million walking and cycling visits per year.

The bridge run above a spur off the main canal that runs underneath a huge warehouse building, constructed by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) as a way of connecting rail and canal cargoes in a single building.

The entrance to the Interchange Dock gained the gruesome nickname of the ‘Dead Dog Tunnel’ because, historically, debris – including dead animals – accumulated here at the end of the 26-mile lock-free stretch of the canal flowing into central London.

The bridge repairs began in mid-January and have 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.

It’s also been repainted in its original colours from when it was built.

Phil Emery, Canal & River Trust regional heritage adviser, explained: “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 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.”

‘Dead Dog Tunnel’ has featured in a number of films, including the 2015 Bond film Spectre, where it was used as a double for Q’s top secret underground workshop.

Today, the Interchange Building is a co-working office space. Using the Interchange Dock, iRecycle transports waste from the Interchange Building by barge to the Powerday recycling centre in West London.


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  1. Jason Leahy says:

    I don’t think you have had an article about the Cody Dock Rolling Bridge across the River Lea London. What I don’t understand is why it is hand cranked and doesn’t use electric motors or hydraulics and takes 20 mins to open and close the bridge to let boats pass which I think is very unfair for disabled pedestrians.

  2. Les says:

    Somewhat surprised to read the name of the colour which appears to a later fancier retitled “red Lead” as it was know and used to paint any metalwork at that time and long afterwards. The lead component of which ensured the longevity of the paint . As will all realise it’s also toxic if you decided to snack on it ! It also provided a great undercoat for black bitumen based top coats .

  3. Thomas Day says:

    Looks lovely. Shame about all the crap daubed on the warehouse, and no doubt soon the bridge, but here we are

  4. michael says:

    The Cody Dock Rolling Bridge provides much-needed employment for hand-crankers in the River Lea area, a skill which until recently was in danger of dying out. The Camden Dock Dead Dog Bridge may be a footbridge today, but in the past it enabled horses to carry on pulling their barges past the Dead Dog Tunnel, which is why it is cobbled, not smooth, like the ramp leading up to the Horse Hospital. Otherwise, it might have been known as the Dead Horse Bridge.

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