Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester

Last updated

Coordinates: 53°29′02″N2°14′52″W / 53.483768°N 2.24782°W / 53.483768; -2.24782

Contents

Blackfriars Bridge
Former Fairburn House and Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester.jpg
Coordinates 53°29′01″N2°14′52″W / 53.483721°N 2.247717°W / 53.483721; -2.247717 Coordinates: 53°29′01″N2°14′52″W / 53.483721°N 2.247717°W / 53.483721; -2.247717 [1]
CarriesBlackfriars Street
Crosses River Irwell
Locale Manchester, England
Heritage status Grade II listed structure
Characteristics
Design Arch bridge
History
DesignerThomas Wright
Opened1 August 1820;199 years ago (1820-08)

Blackfriars Bridge is a stone arch bridge in Greater Manchester, England. Completed in 1820, it crosses the River Irwell, connecting Salford to Manchester.

It replaced an earlier wooden footbridge, built in 1761 by a company of comedians who performed in Salford, and who wanted to grant patrons from Manchester access to their theatre. The old bridge was removed in 1817. The new design, by Thomas Wright of Salford, was completed in June 1820, and opened on 1 August that year. The bridge is built from sandstone and uses three arches to cross the river. To obscure the then badly polluted river from view, at some point in the 1870s its original stone balustrade was replaced with cast iron. In 1991 this was replaced with stone-clad reinforced concrete.

The Act of Parliament that enabled its construction allowed for its owners to charge a toll for crossing the bridge, but this arrangement was brought to an end in March 1848. Blackfriars Bridge was declared a Grade II listed building in 1988.

History

Blackfriars Bridge (1831-1834) by Agostino Aglio Blackfriars wooden bridge manchester.jpg
Blackfriars Bridge (1831–1834) by Agostino Aglio

The current Blackfriars Bridge replaced an earlier, wooden structure, dating from 1761. This was erected by a company of comedians keen to allow people from Manchester to easily cross the Irwell, to visit the Riding School on Water Street in Salford, where they performed. [2] For the rest of its life it was maintained at the public's expense. A series of 29 steps [nb 1] led from the Manchester side of the river down to its flagged surface. [3] [4] It was named Blackfriars Bridge, as Blackfriars Bridge in London was then being built. [5]

Engraving by Edward Finden, c.1830 Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester.jpg
Engraving by Edward Finden, c.1830

The old bridge was narrow, suitable for pedestrians only and liable to flooding. [6] An Act of Parliament [nb 2] of 1817 enabled its replacement by a superior structure. The Company of Proprietors of the Blackfriars Bridge were empowered to raise funds for the bridge's construction, and allowed to charge tolls to recoup their investment, maintain the bridge and pay off any further debts. The proprietors were also allowed to earn interest on surplus funds, but tolls were to cease once the bridge and the mortgages taken out to fund it, were paid off. As per the act, they raised £17,700 in shares of £50 each, and obtained mortgages for an additional £12,000, but this proved insufficient; they therefore borrowed a further £3,225. [8]

A competition was held to produce designs for the new bridge, which would be required to carry more traffic than the existing structure. Prizes of £150 and £100 were offered for the first and second best designs. William Fairbairn entered with a design for a single-span cast iron bridge. His employer at the time, Thomas Hewes, was also an entrant. [9] [10] Thomas Wright of Salford won the competition with a three-arched stone bridge complete with Ionic columns. [11] The old wooden structure was taken down in 1817, [12] and construction on the new bridge began on 4 January 1819. [13] The keystone was laid by J. E. Scholes, boroughreeve of Salford, on 17 June 1820, and the bridge was opened on 1 August. [14]

The bridge's tollgate was removed on 10 March 1848. [15] At a meeting of the committee for the removal of the bridge tolls, the bridge's creditors agreed to give up any interest in the structure; the remaining surplus of funds was used to purchase a "token of respect" for the committee's chairman, Thomas Chadwick. [16]

Design

Blackfriars Bridge is a sandstone ashlar and cast-iron construction, crossing the water below in three classical-style semicircular arches. The easternmost end of the bridge is partly embedded in the river bank. The central arch has paired Ionic pilasters on each side. The voussoirs on each arch use vermiculated rustication. At some point during the 1870s the bridge's open balustrade was replaced with cast iron, to remove the badly polluted river from view. In 1991 this was replaced with stone-clad reinforced concrete, partially restoring the bridge to its original appearance. It lies within the Parsonage Gardens Conservation Area, and was granted Grade II listed status on 4 February 1988. [17] [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal

The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal is a disused canal in Greater Manchester, England, built to link Bolton and Bury with Manchester. The canal, when fully opened, was 15 miles 1 furlong (24.3 km) long. It was accessed via a junction with the River Irwell in Salford. Seventeen locks were required to climb to the summit as it passed through Pendleton, heading northwest to Prestolee before it split northwest to Bolton and northeast to Bury. Between Bolton and Bury the canal was level and required no locks. Six aqueducts were built to allow the canal to cross the rivers Irwell and Tonge and several minor roads.

Castlefield human settlement in United Kingdom

Castlefield is an inner city conservation area of Manchester in North West England. The conservation area which bears its name is bounded by the River Irwell, Quay Street, Deansgate and Chester Road. It was the site of the Roman era fort of Mamucium or Mancunium which gave its name to Manchester. It was the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal, the world's first industrial canal, built in 1764; the oldest canal warehouse opened in 1779. The world's first passenger railway terminated here in 1830, at Liverpool Road railway station and the first railway warehouse opened here in 1831.

Vauxhall Bridge arch bridge in central London

Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge, built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. The original bridge was built on the site of a former ferry.

River Irwell river in Lancashire, United Kingdom

The River Irwell is a 39-mile (63 km) long river which flows through the Irwell Valley in North West England. Its source is at Irwell Springs on Deerplay Moor, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Bacup. It forms the boundary between Manchester and Salford and empties into the River Mersey near Irlam.

Pendlebury town in the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England

Pendlebury is a suburban town in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England. The population at the 2011 Census was 13,069. It lies 4.1 miles (6.6 km) northwest of Manchester city centre, 3.4 miles (5.5 km) northwest of Salford, and 5.9 miles (9.5 km) southeast of Bolton.

Clifton, Greater Manchester human settlement in United Kingdom

Clifton is a small town within the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Historically in Lancashire, it lies alongside and in the Irwell Valley in the northern part of the City of Salford. Clifton, a former centre for coal mining, once formed part of the Municipal Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury.

Barton-upon-Irwell human settlement in United Kingdom

Barton-upon-Irwell is a suburban area of the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 12,462 in 2014.

Princes Bridge road and tram bridge in Melbourne, Australia

Princes Bridge, originally Prince's Bridge, is a bridge in central Melbourne, Australia that spans the Yarra River. It is built on the site of one of the oldest river crossings in the city, and forms a gateway into the central city from the south. The bridge connects Swanston Street on the north bank of the Yarra River to St Kilda Road on the south bank, and carries road, tram and pedestrian traffic. The present bridge was built in 1888 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Kersal area of Salford, England

Kersal is an area of the City of Salford in Greater Manchester, England, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) northwest of Manchester city centre.

Mythe Bridge bridge in United Kingdom

Mythe Bridge carries the A438 road across the River Severn at Tewkesbury. It is a cast-iron arch bridge spanning 170 feet (52 m) and 24 feet (7.3m) wide, designed by Thomas Telford and completed in April 1826. It is a Grade II* listed structure.

Manchester Racecourse

Manchester Racecourse was a venue for horse racing located at a number of sites around the Manchester area including; Kersal Moor, New Barnes, Weaste and Castle Irwell, Pendleton, then in Lancashire. The final home of the course, Castle Irwell, was closed in 1963. Despite its name, the course was never actually located within the boundaries of the ancient township of Manchester or the subsequent city of Manchester.

William Cowherd was a Christian minister serving a congregation in the City of Salford, England, immediately west of Manchester, and one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society founded in 1847. Cowherd advocated and encouraged members of his then small group of followers, known as Cowherdites to abstain from the eating of meat as a form of temperance.

Barton Road Swing Bridge swing bridge for road traffic in Greater Manchester, England

Barton Road Swing Bridge is a swing bridge for road traffic in Greater Manchester that crosses the Manchester Ship Canal between Trafford Park in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford to Barton-upon-Irwell in the City of Salford. The bridge is a Grade II listed building, and is part of a surrounding conservation area. It runs parallel to the Barton Swing Aqueduct which carries the Bridgewater Canal. The bridge opens regularly for traffic along the Manchester Ship Canal, which can cause delays for road traffic.

Victoria Bridge (Stockton-on-Tees)

The Victoria Jubilee Bridge is a road bridge carrying Bridge Road (A1130) east west across the River Tees between Stockton-on-Tees and Thornaby-on-Tees in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees in the north east of England. Commonly referred to as the Victoria Bridge, it is located just south east of Stockton town centre.

River Irwell Railway Bridge Grade I listed railway bridge in Manchester and Salford, United Kingdom

The River Irwell Railway Bridge was built for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&MR), the world's first passenger railway which used only steam locomotives and operated as a scheduled service, near Water Street in Manchester, England. The stone railway bridge, built in 1830 by George Stephenson, was part of Liverpool Road railway station. The bridge was designated a Grade I listed building on 20 June 1988.

Greengate, Salford human settlement in United Kingdom

Greengate is an area of Manchester city centre which is geographically located within Salford, Greater Manchester, England. It is bounded by the River Irwell, Victoria Bridge Street and Chapel Street, Blackfriars Road and Trinity Way. Greengate is the original historic core of Salford and sits within the easternmost part of the City of Salford. Greengate is currently experiencing a period of intensive development activity and growth, benefiting from its location just across the River Irwell from the City of Manchester.

Victoria Bridge, Manchester Grade II listed bridge in Manchester and Salford, United Kingdom

Victoria Bridge is a stone arch bridge in Greater Manchester, England. Completed in 1839 and named after Queen Victoria, it crosses the River Irwell, connecting Salford to Manchester.

Albert Bridge, Manchester bridge in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Albert Bridge is a Grade II listed skew arch bridge in Greater Manchester, England. A replacement for an earlier structure, New Bailey Bridge, it was completed in 1844. It crosses the River Irwell, connecting Salford to Manchester.

Palatine Bridge, Salford bridge in United Kingdom

Palatine Bridge is a wrought-iron road bridge in Greater Manchester. Opened in 1864 and rebuilt in 1911, it crosses the River Irwell between Salford and Manchester.

Barton Aqueduct aqueduct

The Barton Aqueduct, opened on 17 July 1761, carried the Bridgewater Canal over the River Irwell at Barton-upon-Irwell, in the historic county of Lancashire, England. Designed largely by James Brindley under the direction of John Gilbert, it was the first navigable aqueduct to be built in England, "one of the seven wonders of the canal age" according to industrial archaeologist Mike Nevell.

References

Footnotes
  1. Some sources, for instance, Collectanea Relating to Manchester and its Neighbourhood (1866) say there were 39 steps.
  2. 57 George III. cap. 58 "Act for building a bridge across the river Irwell, from Water Street, in the township of Salford, to St. Mary's Gate, in the township of Manchester, and for making proper Avenues thereto." [7]
Notes
  1. National Heritage List for England ,  Wikidata Q6973052
  2. Axon 1886 , p. 94
  3. Farrer & Brownbill 1966 , p. 182
  4. Aston 1826 , p. 219
  5. Parkinson-Bailey 2000 , p. 10n
  6. Moule & Westall 1834 , p. 37
  7. Axon 1886, p. 152
  8. Anon 1839 , pp. 603–605
  9. Pole 1877 , pp. 105–106
  10. Smiles 2006 , p. 200
  11. Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004 , p. 304
  12. Axon 1886 , p. 153
  13. Axon 1886 , p. 155
  14. Axon 1886 , p. 159
  15. Axon 1886 , p. 244
  16. "From a Liverpool Correspondent" , The Manchester Guardian, p. 7, 15 April 1848 via ProQuest
  17. Parsonage Gardens Conservation Area, manchester.gov.uk, retrieved 24 February 2012
  18. Historic England, "Blackfriars Bridge (that Part in City of Manchester), Blackfriars Street (1279490)", National Heritage List for England , retrieved 24 February 2012
Bibliography