Rochdale Canal Bridge 26 – Todmorden, UK
Posted by: dtrebilc
N 53° 43.082 W 002° 04.271
30U E 561293 N 5952551
Quick Description: This stone arch bridge is next to lock 16 on the Rochdale Canal near to the town of Todmorden.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/3/2012 12:16:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMET0Q
Long Description:The Canal History
The Rochdale canal is 32 miles long and connects Manchester on the west side of the Pennine Hills and Sowerby Bridge on the east side.
The Rochdale Canal was completed in 1804 and is one of three canals that cross the Pennine hills. This is the only one that doesn’t use tunnels. In addition it was a broad canal with bridges and locks that allowed boats of 14 feet width to pass through.
The one downside of not using tunnels is that it originally had 92 locks. These days two of them have been combined into one deep lock.
Competition from railways and roads subsequently led to a decline in goods being carried and by 1937 the only section left in operation was at the Manchester end of the canal.
In 1965 there was talk of abandoning the canal but by this time leisure boating had become very popular in the UK and there was a campaign to keep it open. Work was started and the canal slowly re-opened in a number of different stages. The whole length finally reopened in September 2007.
All the locks on the canal have a standard length of 72 feet (22 metres).
Details of the bridge
This bridge is known as Lob Mill bridge and was built in 1798 by Jessop and Crossley engineers to give access to the nearby Lob Mill on the south side of the canal. This date was at the time that the part of the canal between Sowerby Bridge and Rochdal was opened, earlier than some other parts of the canal.
It is situated very close to lock 16. A lock always forms the narrowest part of the canal and so building the bridge near the lock makes it smaller and cheaper to build.
The bridge has a single span with a horseshoe elliptical arch. It slopes very steeply from the high ground on the south side of the canal to the north side.
Very often bridges are built into the end of the lock, but in this case because of the steep angle of the bridge it is built slightly away from the lock. The span of the bridge also passes over the tow path and so it is slightly wider than those bridges where this does not happen.
Arching over the the tow path also means that the bottom of the arch is slightly higher than the side with no tow path.
This bridge was made a Grade II listed building by English Heritage in 1984 before the canal was restored, reference number 1228984.