The old Anglesea Bridge, built in the 1830s, could not cope with the volume of traffic using the bridge by the 1870s. Cork Corporation decided to replace the old bridge in 1875 and chose a swing bridge designed by T. Claxton Fiddler in 1877. The building of the new bridge was dogged by delays due to contractual and legal disputes. It was finally opened on 18 November 1882 and named Parnell Bridge. The swing bridge was replaced by present-day Parnell Bridge on 24 May 1971.
Our illustration shews elevation and plan of a swivel bridge now being erected across the Lee, the Corporation and Harbour Board of Cork jointly undertaking the expense. It has been designed by Mr. Fiddler, C.E., of London, and the contract was taken by Mr. Alexander Rooney, C.E., of Queenstown, at £16,400. Mr. Rooney has just erected the temporary wooden bridge (a separate contract), and is already working with his accustomed energy at the permanent structure. The ironwork is being supplied by the Stocton Forge Company, Stocton-on-tees, the same firm who recently executed a swivel bridge of 80 ft. span for the Great Northern Railway Company near Hartlepool. The new bridge (which, we believe, it is proposed to name after the founder of the City of Cork, St. Finn Barra) replaces one built by the firm of Sir Thomas Deane and Co., and called after the Marquess of Anglesea, the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. It was a handsome architectural structure, well suited to its time, but much too small for the growing requirements of the shipping trade, and the lifting apparatus connected with it was a serious impediment to the road traffic. Mr. Robert Walker, jun., architect (who is the local representative of Mr. Fiddler), superintends the work conjointly with Mr. Philip Barry, C.E., Harbour Engineer. As published in the Irish Builder, Vol. XXII, 1880.