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Heyrod Bridge

A Grade II Listed Building in Stalybridge, Tameside

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Latitude: 53.4985 / 53°29'54"N

Longitude: -2.0418 / 2°2'30"W

OS Eastings: 397325

OS Northings: 400199

OS Grid: SD973001

Mapcode National: GBR GW5Z.RM

Mapcode Global: WHB9K.LBYB

Plus Code: 9C5VFXX5+97

Entry Name: Heyrod Bridge

Listing Date: 27 September 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1449241

Location: Stalybridge, Tameside, SK15

County: Tameside

Electoral Ward/Division: Stalybridge North

Built-Up Area: Stalybridge

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester


Road bridge over the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway line, mid-late 1840s, by A S Jee.


Road bridge over the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway line, mid-late 1840s, by A S Jee. Rock-faced sandstone with ashlar dressings.

Heyrod Bridge (MVL3/9) is located at the junction of Spring Bank Lane and Wakefield Road in Heyrod, a semi-rural settlement within the township of Stalybridge, and carries Spring Bank Lane over the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway line. Due to the lie of the land the bridge slopes down eastwards. The bridge is similarly detailed on both sides and is constructed of coursed local sandstone with a segmental arched span incorporating rusticated voussoirs with tooled faces that springs from an ashlar impost band. Above the arch is a projecting carriageway band (designed like a stringcourse) and a low parapet of coursed stone with flat ashlar coping stones incorporating pyramidal stops. The projecting wing walls at the western end of the bridge are splayed and those to the east curve around to the south-east following the line of Spring Bank Lane. A small section at the base of the south parapet on the road side has been repaired using red brick.


In contrast to the main trunk lines of the late 1830s that were constructed by single railway companies the route from Stalybridge to Leeds had fragmented origins and was the work of three different railway companies: the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway, Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway, and the Manchester & Leeds Railway.

The Huddersfield & Manchester Railway was authorised in 1845 and followed the route of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal for much of its length, including a railway tunnel through the Pennine hills set alongside the earlier Standedge Canal Company tunnel of 1811; in 1846 the railway company also acquired the canal. Joseph Locke and Alfred Stanistreet Jee were appointed to survey and design the new line, the two engineers having already worked together on a major project linking Manchester and Sheffield. Jee became the lead engineer for the Huddersfield line, which passed through challenging terrain, assisted by resident engineers that included his brother Moreland Jee (until 1848) and Herbert F Mackworth. Construction of the line was divided into various contracts, with many contractors being only responsible for a single cutting, viaduct or tunnel portal. The largest contract for the Standedge Tunnel between Diggle and Marsden was let to a single contractor, Thomas Nicholson in 1847. The tunnel's completion in 1849 marked the opening of the line.

The Leeds end of the route, which was also authorised in 1845, was constructed by the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway. The engineer was Thomas Grainger who had previously largely worked in Scotland, and the line was completed in 1849.

A short three-mile section of the route between Heaton Lodge Junction and Thornhill Junction near Mirfield was developed by the Manchester & Leeds Railway and was constructed between 1837 and 1840, with George Stephenson as the chief engineer. The structures on this line were designed by Thomas Gooch under the oversight of Stephenson. In 1847 the railway company changed its name to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

In 1847 the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway and the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester Railway were acquired by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) so that the company could access the city of Leeds and the textile towns of West Yorkshire. This pitted them as rivals to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, although at points on the route the two companies had to work together. By 1851 the London & North Western Railway had an overall mileage of railway track of 800 miles and it became the most prominent railway company in the country and the largest joint-stock concern in the world in the late C19. Although the LNWR had a general manager, Captain Mark Huish, the lines of the Stalybridge to Leeds route still managed their own affairs. LNWR later carried out expansion works, including the widening of tracks and bridges, the construction of additional tunnels, and station alterations. In 1923 the line became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway, and subsequently part of the nationalised British Railways in 1948. The line, its structures and track are currently owned by Network Rail, and the passenger services operated by TransPennine Express and Northern Rail.

Heyrod Bridge (MVL3/9) was designed by A S Jee and dates to the construction of the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway between 1845 and 1849 (it is depicted on the 1st edition 1:10560 OS map published in 1848). The bridge was constructed to carry Spring Bank Lane over the railway line.

Reasons for Listing

Heyrod Bridge (MVL3/9), constructed in the mid-late 1840s by A S Jee for the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* Constructed during the heroic age of railway building and a little altered example of an 1840s overbridge on what is now one of the main railway lines in northern England;

* Designed by the notable railway engineer Alfred Stanistreet Jee.

Architectural interest:

* The bridge is well detailed with rusticated voussoirs, ashlar dressings, impost bands, and a parapet incorporating pyramidal coping stops that lift its design above the purely functional.

Group value:

* With the other listed structures designed by Jee on the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway line.

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