Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,173 pages of information and 245,641 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Winnington Turn Bridge

From Graces Guide
Eg19011227 Winnington Turn 2.jpg
Eg19011227 Winnington Turn.jpg

In Winnington, near Northwich, Cheshire.

No longer extant.

Note: The current Historic England entry applies to the surviving bridge which is featured in Grace's Guide as Winnington Swing Bridge. In the Historic England entry there appears to be some confusion between the present swing bridge and this c.1901 'turn bridge' which once connected parts of the Winnington Alkali Works. See below.

In this area the River Weaver and the canalised Weaver Navigation divide, forming an island. The surviving 1908-built Winnington Swing Bridge crosses the canalised branch, while 150 yds south of it an old stone bridge crosses the 'old' river, the canalised portion having branched off 1/4 mile east of the Winnington Swing Bridge. The 1908/1910 25" O.S. map here shows the 'turn bridge' crossing the river at the junction, providing a link between two parts of the large Winnington Alkali Works (the works of Brunner, Mond and Co at that time).

This turn bridge replaced an earlier wooden 'drawbridge' as part of improvements and expansion by Brunner, Mond. The Weaver navigation Trust provided about 90% of the cost of replacing the bridge.[1]

The structure was superficially similar to the later and larger Winnington Swing Bridge, having horizontal top chords and sloping lower chords and 'N' bracing. There any resemblance ended. Whereas the larger bridge was balanced about an offset pivot, the Turn Bridge was unusual in being pivoted about one end, and the weight being carried by rollers positioned at about the mid length of the span, running on curved rails supported on piling set in an arc about the bridge pivot. A portion of the piling survives in mid-stream.

The bridge crossed a branch of the River Weaver at Winnington called the Floodcourse, and was described in Engineering in 1901 [2]. This was probably known as the Winnington Turn Bridge.

From the 1901 Engineering article: The unusual arrangement 'was adopted owing to the local conditions, which did not allow room for a swing-bridge of the ordinary type, and a bascule bridge was considered inadmissible, owing to the nature of the foundation and to the lack of height for the counterbalance needed; whilst, if a drawbridge were used, complicated arrangements would be necessitated by the fact that tram-rails were to be laid across the bridge. ..... The weight of the bridge is 50 tons, which is carried on twelve rollers. The roller-path consists of ordinary double-headed rails bent to the required radius and secured by chairs to the pitch-pine staging. A curved rack is placed between these rails, and geared therewith is a pinion, driving through worm-gearing by a 6-horse-power elctromotor, designed to run at 750 revolutions per minute. The total travel of the pinion on opening the bridge is 60 ft., and the time taken is about 1 1/4 minutes. .... The current is led into the switch cabin by flexible wires held overhead on a post with a long overhanging arm. The entire constrution and erection were carried out by the Weaver Trustees' own workmen, under the direction of Mr. J. A. Sauer [ John Arthur Saner ], M.Inst. C. E. The steel sections were obtained from Messrs. Dorman, Long, and Co., and the motor, controlling switch, &c., from Messrs. Mather and Platt. The cost , inclusive of fixed span, electric plant, piling, safety gates and the removal of the old bridge, was under 1900l.'


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Runcorn Guardian - Saturday 1 December 1900
  2. [1] Engineering, 27 December 1901