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Posset Bridge
Peak Forest Canal, Marple, Stockport, Greater Manchester, UK
Posset Bridge
associated engineer
Not known
date  1802 - 1803
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SJ960887
photo  ICE R&D Fund
Where the Stockport Road crosses the Peak Forest Canal at Marple, you'll find the Posset Bridge, with the Posst Horse Tunnel alongside. It was built at the behest of Samuel Oldknow, a local industrialist who became chairman of the canal company.
The bridge is located just north of the Lock 13 on the canal. Apparently, Oldknow arranged for the nearby Navigation Inn to supply the workmen with ale posset (a hot drink of ale, eggs, milk and spices) to encourage them to complete the bridge on time, hence the name!
The western arch of the masonry bridge arch crosses the canal with a single ring of voussoir stones and a central keystone. A wide pier with a central pilaster connects this to the eastern arch, which led to a canal arm linked to Oldknow’s lime kilns. The southern side of the eastern arch and the canal branch alongside Strines Road have been infilled.
At about 3.5m wide, the bridge is not wide enough for a modern road with a separate footway. A recent black painted steel girder deck with white painted railings was added on the north wide of the bridge to carry the footway, replacing a similar structure dating from 1968.
These days, the bridge’s official name is New Mills and Stockport Road Bridge (bridge No.18 on the canal).
Reserach: PD
"A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Greater Manchester" by Robina McNeil and Michael Nevell, Association for Industrial Archaeology, 2000
"Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights, the Industrial Revolution At Stockport and Marple" by George Unwin with chapters by Arthur Hulme and George Taylor, Manchester University Press, London, 1924

Posset Bridge