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Parsons Bridge On Leeds Liverpool Canal - Kildwick, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 54.574 W 001° 59.070
30U E 566708 N 5973938
Quick Description: This stone arch foot bridge is bridge number 186 on the canal.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/17/2013 1:29:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ3GY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Sir Lose-a-lot
Views: 0

Long Description:
The canal is 127.25 miles long and flows from the inland woollen town of Leeds to the coastal sea port of Liverpool, crossing the Pennines along the way. Work on the canal started in 1770 and built in a number of sections and was finally completed in 1816.

This bridge is a stone bridge with a single arch of basket form spanning both canal and south tow path.

Like many of the bridges on this canal the arch stones are painted white to help boat owners judge their approach through the bridge. In addition because the bridge straddles the tow path on one side of the canal the bridge keystone is not in the middle of the canal. A vertical white line painted on the bridge parapet indicates the middle of the canal itself to further aid navigation.

At the time the bridge was built canal boats were towed by horses and as the bridge is on a bend in the canal the edges of the bridge developed grooves that were cut into the stone work from the ropes rubbing against the arch of the bridge. In order to cure this problem many of the bridges on the canal had wooden vertical rollers installed on the inside of the arch.

On most bridges the rollers have disappeared and on many the metal supports for the rollers are all that remain. This is an example of a bridge where the roller is still attached to the bridge.

The bridge is next to the medieval church of St. Andrews and is a Grade II English Heritage listed building. The website tells us that "when the canal was built in 1774 it separated the church from the vicarage and Kildwick Hall; the bridge was therefore an important footway linking the two parts of the settlement."

The canal also splits the church graveyard into two and the bridge allows access to both parts of the graveyard. It is not clear whether this happened at the time the canal was built or whether the grave yard was extended after the canal was built. However due to the terrain, with a hill on the north side of the canal and the church on the south side there was limited choice as to the route of the canal.

There is a lych gate on top of the north side of the bridge at the entrance to the separate graveyard.
Physical Location (city, county, etc.): Kildwick, North Yorkshire

Road, Highway, Street, etc.: Pedestrian footpath

Water or other terrain spanned: Leeds Liverpool Canal

Construction Date: 1774

Architect/Builder: Not listed

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