31 August 2014

Lancashire Bridges: 3. Penny Bridge, Caton

This bridge spans the River Lune midway between the two former railway bridges in my last post.

Built in 1883, it comprises three elliptical sandstone arches. The roadway is level, with straight balustraded stone parapets either side.

The road originally crossed the river here at a ford, until a privately funded bridge was built in 1805. Like the present bridge, this had three elliptical stone arches. A penny was charged as the toll for the use of the bridge. As of 1880, the bridge was badly deteriorating, and the County Council took over the bridge, building the new one for £8,500.

The bridge was designed by the Lancashire County surveyor, with local architects E.G. Paley and Hubert Austin, and is now Listed Grade II. The builders were Benton and Woodiwiss, a Derby-based firm, who were also extensively involved in railway construction.

This bridge just leaves me with questions: why is the roadway level, when a curved alignment would have looked much better? Why are the parapets solid over the piers and only balustraded over short lengths over the arches?

Further information:

1 comment:

Imre said...

I've got one guess on why the roadway is level. A curved or straight roadway with a gradient would have resulted in three different spans, piers and abutments. The current bridge was easier to build.