RADFORD Aqueduct in Bramshott has been acclaimed as among the best in the country in a new book.

It is highlighted in The Encyclopaedia of British Bridges, a fascinating compendium of the nation’s most important, historic and well-loved constructions.

With exhaustive research and meticulous care, author David McFetrich, an experienced civil engineer, has drawn out the most prestigious examples of design, construction or historical context from the million or more bridges that span the UK.

And the book contains a detailed entry on the Radford Aqueduct in Radford Park, off the old London Road in Bramshott on the edge of Liphook.

The aqueduct is part of an irrigation feeder system for water meadows on the River Wey that was built in the 15th century to carry water over the river.

But by the 1970s the scheduled monument was badly cracked and in danger of collapse.

Work by the Bramshott and Liphook Restoration Society ignited local interest in the water meadows and led to the founding of the River Wey Trust.

From the early 1600s, the Wey valley was filled with water meadows, and the remains can still be seen in Radford Park today.

The aqueduct restoration work was grant funded by East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council and the Department of the Environment.

David McFetrich said: “Bridges have a universal appeal as examples of man’s mastery of nature, from picturesque packhorse bridges to great spans stretching across broad estuaries, and the development of the technology that allows ever more audacious constructions is never-ending.

“This book is aimed at the general reader, but I would like to think it will also encourage youngsters into what must be one of the world’s most exciting, demanding and worthy careers. Not only is designing and building bridges hugely challenging, but it helps build the future for everyone.”

This definitive book contains 1,600 entries of bridges or related groups of bridges covering more than 2,000 structures, covering everything from ancient aqueducts to zigzag bridges.

It includes those made famous by people or events as well as the notorious engineering failures that led to disaster and collapse.

The book, published by Pen and Sword, is available for £60. Discounts are sometimes available.

David McFetrich is currently working on a sister book, and is always happy to exchange information about bridges.

He can be contacted by email at [email protected]