Wednesday, 13 May 2015

R is for Roving Bridge

Last Friday we celebrated our son's 34th birthday and escaped the aftermath of the election by taking a trip down the Peak Forest Canal from Ashton to Romiley aboard Community Spirit, a narrowboat operated by the East Manchester Community Boat Project. Yesterday I showed you the site of St George's Rowing Club.

Immediately past there is a "Roving Bridge" known as Captain Clarke's Bridge.

A roving bridge is designed allow horses drawing boats on the canal to cross on the towpath from one side to the other without needing to be unhitched.

The towpath changes sides at this point. The horse, pulling a narrowboat along with a towline attached to its harness, would cross the bridge then curve down and go under the bridge. If the boat was going the other way, the horse would walk under the bridge then up around the curve, over the canal and down the other side. Because the towpath goes under the bridge before circling upwards, the towline could remain attached the whole time, which would save the boatmen time and fiddling about.

Here is the bridge again on our return journey a few hours later.

It is named after the navel officer, Captain John Clarke who lived at Wood End in the 19th century. Read his biography on Old Hyde.

A contribution to
Water World Wednesday;
ABC Wednesday.


  1. What a quaint yet workable bridge. I love the old stone.

  2. Once again you have taught me something I didn't know. I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like it.

  3. What a delightful rustic bridge, I particularly like the stonework.

    best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  4. Beautiful bridge and so inventive, glad it's still in great condition.

  5. I can just imagine the horse trotting along the curve of your fist photograph. What an interesting bridge.

  6. The bridge is lovely- so very rural and peaceful.

  7. A real trip back in time, it looks wonderful!

  8. Neat! Love that first shot!


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