Western Canal

Lattice Girder Bridges

As Britain's railways expanded during the 19th century, iron lattice girder bridges became a feature of the network. Subsequently, railway companies began taking over the older canal companies and soon lattice girder bridges were being constructed on canals as well.

The Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals were acquired by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway Company on the 1 January 1847 to become collectively known as the Western Canal. An undertaking of the new owner was to replace several original wooden footbridges with lattice girder footbridges. Seven of these bridges have been identified but their dates of construction are unknown.

  1. Jeremy Brook Footbridge on the Ashton Canal at the bottom of Pottinger Street, Ashton-under-Lyne. This is an arched lattice girder bridge in contrast to the others whose decks were either constructed with very shallow bows or were flat. This bridge is still extant.
  2. Rosthern's Footbridge on the Stockport Branch of the Ashton Canal, North Reddish. This bridge is no longer extant.
  3. Pinch Farm (or Occupation) Footbridge on the Hollinwood Branch of the Ashton Canal above Waterhouses Locks, Daisy Nook Country Park. This bridge was badly damaged by vandals in 2011 and it was demolished by Oldham Borough Council in April 2016.
  4. Stanley Footbridge on the Lower Peak Forest Canal, off Astley Street and Charles Street, Dukinfield. This bridge was demolished sometime between 1965 and 1974 and was not replaced.
  5. Apethorn Footbridge on the Lower Peak Forest Canal at the bottom of Apethorn Lane, Hyde. This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  6. Whaley Bridge Junction Footbridge on the Upper Peak Forest Canal at Bridgemont. This bridge was demolished in April 1978 and then replaced with a modern one.
  7. Hagg Farm Footbridge, with accompanying swivel bridge, south of Higher Poynton on the approach to Red Acre Aqueduct. This bridge is still extant but the adjacent swivel bridge was demolished in the 1970s.

Jeremy Brook Footbridge on the Ashton Canal at the bottom of Pottinger Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, 4 February 2006.

This view is looking towards Guide Bridge.

Rosthern’s Footbridge on the Stockport Branch of the Ashton Canal, North Reddish, looking north, 1950s.

This bridge was situated to the west of Harrogate Road in the vicinity of Wharfedale Road. It took its name from the adjoining Rosthern’s Coal Wharf. The chemical works of C Lowe & Co was on the offside of the canal (to the right of the viewpoint).

Formerly, this bridge was accompanied by a swivel bridge on the far side. Although this has been removed, it is just possible to make out some of the stone foundations.

Courtesy: C&RT

Pinch Farm (or Occupation) Footbridge on the Hollinwood Branch of the Ashton Canal above Waterhouses Locks, Daisy Nook Country Park, 31 March 1983.

This view is looking towards Iron Aqueduct over Crime Lane, which is just beyond the bridge.

Pinch Farm (or Occupation) Footbridge looking towards Waterhouses Junction and Waterhouses Top Lock, 20 July 2006.

Stanley Footbridge, which connects to Astley Street and Charles Street, Dukinfield, 1957.

This view is looking towards Hyde with Stanley Swivel Bridge in the foreground.

Courtesy: C&RT

Apethorn Footbridge on the Lower Peak Forest Canal at the bottom of Apethorn Lane, Hyde, 25 February 1979.

This view is looking towards Hyde.

Whaley Bridge Junction Footbridge on the Upper Peak Forest Canal at Bridgemont, 17 September 1977.

Below the footbridge is the main line of the canal to Bugsworth Basin.

Seven months later, this bridge was demolished by British Waterways.

Hagg Farm Footbridge on the Macclesfield Canal at Higher Poynton, looking south, 27 December 2011.

A short distance beyond this bridge there was formerly a towpath bridge over the short Red Acre Arm of the canal.