Heritage Locations

Acton Swing Bridge


The first floating swing bridge in Britain

Constructor:
Unclassified

Period of construction:
1900 - 1949

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Road

Address:
Acton bridge, Cheshire, CW8 3QT

Postcode:
CW8 3QT

Nearest Town:
Northwich

Heritage Centre:
No

This bridge over the River Weaver was built in 1932 and was the first in the country to rest on a floating pontoon. It replaced an older bridge which was sited a few hundred yards upstream.  The original abutments are  visible on the river banks from the Leigh Arms car park.

The River Weaver was canalised in the 18th century, linking Northwich and Winsford with the sea in order to improve the transport of salt. Before that, salt was moved by road to the nearest navigable part of the river, which is north of here at Frodsham. To begin with, sailing flats were used to move the salt, although they weren't sailed when on the river, but hauled by men on the banks. After a towpath was constructed, horses replaced the men. Once steam barges came into use, more headroom was needed beneath the road bridges, so these were replaced by bridges which swung to one side to allow the boats to pass.


Bibliography:

Addison, Sir William, The Old Roads of England, Batsford, ISBN 0 7134 1714 5 (1980)

Albert, W., The Turnpike Road System in England 1663-1840, Cambridge University Press, ISBN O 5210 3391 8 (1972)

Barker, Theo, The Rise and Rise of Road Transport, 1700-1990, Cambridge University Press, ISBN-10 0521557739 (1995)

Codrington, Thomas, Roman Roads in Britain: Early Britain, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN-10 0548240310 (2007)

Davies, Hugh, Roads in Roman Britain, History Press, ISBN-10 0752425030 (2008)

Davies, Hugh, Roman Roads, Shire, ISBN-10 074780690X (2008)

Harrison, David, The Bridges of Medieval England: Transport and Society 400-1800, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0199226857 (2007)

Hindle, P., Roads and Tracks for Historians, Phillimore & Co, ISBN-10: 1860771823 (2001)

Hindley, G., History of the Roads, Peter Davies, ISBN 0 8065 0290 8 (1971)

Jackson, Gibbard, From Track to Highway, Nicholson and Watson, ASIN B00085R4D8 (1935)

Jervoise, E., Ancient Bridges of England, Architectural Press, ASIN B00085PLDI (1932)

Johnston, David, An Illustrated History of Roman Roads in Britain, Spur Books, ISBN-10 0904978338 (1979)

Peel, J. H. B., Along the Roman Roads of Britain, Macmillan, ISBN-10: 0330239309 (1976)

Sheldon, G., From Trackway to Turnpike, Oxford University Press, ASIN B001N2GS2S (1928)

Smiles, Samuel, The Life of Thomas Telford Civil Engineer with an Introductory History of Roads and Travelling in Great Britain (1867), The Echo Library, ISBN-10: 1406805866 (2006)

Taylor, C., Roads and Tracks of Britain, Littlehampton Books, ISBN 0 460 04329 3 (1979)

 



Opening Times:
Viewable at all times

How To Find:
By road: On the A49  south east of Runcorn and north west of Northwich.

Facilities:


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