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Penwortham Bridge
River Ribble, Penwortham, Lancashire, UK
Penwortham Bridge
associated engineer
Not known
date  1759
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SD529283
ICE reference number  HEW 1348
photo  ICE R&D Fund
A Georgian masonry road bridge over the River Ribble that is now used for foot traffic. Its construction date can be seen carved in the centre of the eastern parapet. Although we don't know who designed it, we do know that it was built to replace a bridge on this spot that collapsed just one year after completion.
The river is still tidal at this point and so varies in depth through the day. The bridge has five segmental circular arches over the water and a sixth on the north side that sits at roughly right angles to the main part of the bridge, originally designed to carry the approach road from Preston.
The spans measure (starting on the north side): 12.6m, 15.1m, 18.19m, 14.94m and 12.6m. The pointed cutwaters at the piers are carried up to deck level, where they are expresses as triangular projections from the deck. The voussoirs of the arches are laid radially. An upper course in the form of a label mould disguises discrepancies between the arches and the spandrels.
The bridge's deck is 5.49m wide, has a cobbled surface and solid parapets. There is an asphalt footway on the downstream side. A cast iron lamp standard is located in a projection on the eastern side.
The bridge originally carried the main road from Preston to Leyland, Southport and Liverpool. It has been superseded in recent years by the the modern A59 bridge half a mile downstream.
Research: PHEW
"The Ancient Bridges of Northern England" by E. Jervoise, Architectural Press, London, 1931
reference sources   ICE / INCH

Penwortham Bridge