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Knowlmere Manor Bridge
River Hodder, Knowlmere Manor, Newton, Lancashire, UK
Knowlmere Manor Bridge
associated engineer
Louis Gustave Mouchel
date  1903 - 1904
UK era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SD679498
ICE reference number  HEW 1735
photo  ICE R&D Fund
A curious mixture of styles and construction techniques, this bridge on a private estate combines late 19th century abutment and pier stonework with early 20th century reinforced concrete design. It is still in use.
The bridge is located between the town of Dunsop Bridge and Newton in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. It carries a private road to Knowlmere Manor over the River Hodder.
The original bridge at this spot consisted of two equal spans of wrought iron lattice girders between rusticated red sandstone abutments and a central river pier with pointed cutwaters. A timber deck was laid for the roadway. The date 1873 is carved into both faces of the 1.22m wide pier, presumably its date of construction. The pier and the abutments, which are 1.83m thick at their foundations, are retained in the bridge we see today.
In 1903, the bridge spans were replaced by the then estate owner, William Peel (c.1844-1926). The new works were designed by Louis Gustave Mouchel (1852-1908) — an early example of modern reinforced concrete construction. In 1897, Mouchel had become the UK agent for the use of 'ferro-concrete' , the reinforced concrete technique patented by fellow French engineer François Hennebique (1842-1921. Mouchel’s first British reinforced concrete bridge was completed in 1902 at Chewton Glen, Hampshire.
As part of bridge redesign, the existing abutments and pier were increased in height. The abutments are raised in masonry and the pier seems to have been increased in height and/or strengthened by the addition of an iron or steel beam, some 460mm thick and 380mm high, encased in masonry (drawings reproduced in The Engineer).
The two spans are 13.41m in length. Each consists of two reinforced concrete arches supporting a 3.71m wide reinforced concrete deck. The arches spring from just below the level of the highest flood and rise to 1.83m above flood level.
A construction photograph published in The Engineer appears to show reinforcement in the top of the concrete deck consisting of a pair of longitudinal rods on each side, near the quarter points of the width. The rods are held in place by a series of inverted U-shaped stirrups.
Concrete posts with brick infill panels form the parapets. The roadway was finished originally with a macadam surface. Its present surface is unknown as the bridge is in private ownership.
Contractor: Yorkshire Hennebique Contracting Co Ltd, Leeds
Concrete supply: G & T Earle Ltd
Research: ECPK
"Concrete Bridge, Knowlmere Manor", The Engineer, p.178, 19th August 1904

Knowlmere Manor Bridge