Bridge 2 Over Shropshire Union Canal (Middlewich Branch) - Barbridge, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 06.696 W 002° 34.410
30U E 528548 N 5884770
Quick Description: This brick built, single arch bridge is an accommodation bridge over the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal for a nearby farm.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/14/2017 9:09:52 AM
Waymark Code: WMX1R8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 1

Long Description:

The Canal
The Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal runs between Middlewich, where it joins the Trent and Mersey Canal, and Barbridge Junction, where it joins the main line of the Shropshire Union Canal.

It is 10 miles (16 km) long, and was planned as part of the Chester Canal, which was authorised in 1772, but the company ran out of money, and construction did not begin until 1827. The Trent and Mersey insisted that there should be no direct connection at Middlewich, and instead built the short Wardle Canal to join the two, charging large compensation tolls for traffic passing along it.

The canal became part of the Shropshire Union system in 1846, which was taken over by the London and North Western Railway within a year. Traffic on the branch was always limited by the compensation tolls, and it was not until 1888 that they were abolished. The canal was the location for trials with locomotive haulage of boats in 1888, using a narrow-gauge engine from Crewe railway works, but no further action was taken. The canal became part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. The railway company closed 175 miles (282 km) of canals in 1944, but the Shropshire Union main line and the Middlewich Branch were spared, and passed into the jurisdiction of the British Waterways Board following nationalisation in 1948.

The canal follows a delightful rural route through farmland across Cheshire, with a short urban section near the junction at Middlewich. Many of the structures are original, and consequently, most of them are grade II listed. There is no commercial traffic on the waterway, but transition to the leisure age has resulted in two marinas being constructed to provide moorings for pleasure craft. link

The Bridge
This bridge is the first bridge on the Middlewich branch after the junction with the nearby main line of the Shropshire Union canal. It is a Historic England Grade II Listed Building.
"Accommodation bridge. 1827-33. Telford design. Brick, with band and copings. Single basket arch. Solid parapet and pier." link

There is a storage unit next to the bridge for stop planks. These are used to block the flow of water if the canal needs to be drained for maintenance reasons. They are usually used at bridges or canal locks because at these points the canal is at its narrowest.

The planks are placed vertically across the canal in a groove cut into the canal banks. Usually the grooves are next to the bridge, but in this case they are under the middle of the arch of the bridge.

The west side of the bridge, nearest to the canal main line has suffered damage to the arch and a number of bricks have become dislodged.
What type of traffic does this bridge support?: Farm Vehicles

What kind of gap does this bridge cross?:
The Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal


Is the bridge still in service for its original purpose?: Yes

Name of road or trail the bridge services: Unnamed farm track

Location:
Barbridge, Cheshire East


Length of bridge: Not listed

Height of bridge: Not listed

Date constructed: Not listed

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