Notable Bridges in Sutton, St.Helens
'The Bridges of Sutton' Slideshow (9 photos)

New Street Bridge / Sutton Workhouse Bridge

'The Bridges of Sutton' Slideshow

New Street Bridge / Sutton Workhouse Bridge

'Bridges of Sutton' Slideshow

New Street Bridge

The road bridge in New Street in Sutton is a historically significant grade 2 listed building which is over 180 years old. It was built by George Stephenson in 1830 for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and still serves this purpose today. It was originally known as Sutton Workhouse Bridge as it was built adjacent to a workhouse and crossed by Workhouse Lane. The latter was the original name for the stretch of road from Mill Lane to Thieves Lane, as Eaves Lane was known until 1902.

The bridge's present-day location is approximately 350 metres north-west of Lea Green Station, 65 metres to the north of the New Street/Severn Close junction and 110 metres to the south of the junction of New Street and Meadowcroft. St.Nicholas church is to the immediate north-west of the bridge. Lea Green Station was built in 2000 (as a replacement for an earlier station), underlining the continuing importance of the line.
The bridge is a single-arch masonry structure with rusticated stone parapets. As it has been listed, the bridge cannot be widened or have its angle of construction changed. This creates delays for motorists who want to cross it, as the bridge's width only permits a single line of vehicles with traffic lights regulating their flow.
According to Henry Booth's 'An Account of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway' that was published in 1830, Sutton Workhouse Bridge (or Sutton Bridge as Booth called it) cost £470 8s 9d to build. Booth also stated that the bridge was:
Constructed from ashler (square-hewn stone)
Measures 26 feet 6" between the parapets over the arch
Measures 23 feet between the railway and centre of the arch
Supports a road over the bridge which is level
Measures 30 feet between the side walls under the arch

The bridge was given Listed Building status at Grade II in 1976 with the following description:
'Bridge. c.1830. Stephenson, for Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Rusticated stone. Round arch has radiating voussoirs and impost band. Flanking pilsater strips and curved retaining walls. Parapet on raised band. Cast iron plate with number 78 on west side. (O.S. GRID REF: 352230 392570)'
In November 2012 Network Rail conducted work to both the eastern and western parapets as part of their electrification programme, which included raising the parapet height. Some coping and brickwork was removed and replaced by original and new stonework. They also carried out extensive restoration work to the bridge. In Network Rail's planning application to St. Helens Council they promised that the new stone would blend well with the existing stone, with the overall effect being "neutral". However, as can be seen from the above photograph, this is far from being the case.

Marshalls Cross Bridge

Marshalls Cross Road Bridge in Sutton, St Helens
The second bridge in Sutton, St Helens which has listed status is the old bridge in Marshall's Cross Road adjacent to Lea Green station, Sherdley Park and the Bull and Dog public house. It's located just 200 yards from the Sutton Workhouse bridge in New Street and like its neighbour is the best part of 200 years old, having also been constructed for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

It's sandwiched in close proximity to the adjacent and much wider A569 bridge which conveys traffic on Marshall's Cross Road's busy dual carriageways over the railway lines. The two pictures above and below are taken from Sutton Workhouse Bridge in New Street and the two Marshalls Cross Road bridges appear to be a single structure. However, this photograph (right) was taken from the side of the A569 bridge and reveals the actual listed bridge in close-up. For some time it has been an insufficient conduit for a busy thoroughfare, so it now provides pedestrian access to the west-bound (Liverpool) down platform at Lea Green station. Hence the modern safety barriers above the coping stones.

The Liverpool Mercury of September 21st, 1899 discussed the proposed widening of Marshalls Cross Road on
Sherdley estate land given by Captain Michael Hughes in connection with mineral rights. However, the second bridge was probably not added until the 1920s.

According to Henry Booth's 'An Account of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway', (pub. 1830), the original Marshall's Cross Bridge cost £864 13s 10d, almost twice that of Sutton Workhouse bridge in New Street. Booth also stated that the bridge was:
Constructed from ashler
Measures 24 feet between the parapets over the arch
Measures 18 feet between the railway and centre of the arch
Measures 30 feet between the side walls under the arch
Supports a road over the bridge with a 1 in 20 slope that's been raised 5 feet

The description appended by Historic England to the bridge's listing building status states:
'Bridge. c.1830. Stephenson, for Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Rusticated stone with later iron top parapet. Round arch with radiating voussoirs. Flanking pilaster strips and retaining walls. Parapet on raised band. The number 77 painted on east side.'
Bold Bridge - Warrington Road
This structure in Warrington Road, Bold Heath is on the A57, 0.7 miles east of Jubits Lane and close to Tibbs Cross Lane. Under the bridge is a footpath which connects the Sutton Manor Woodland to Farnsworth. On the 1849 6-inch Ordnance Survey, Bold Bridge was referred to as 'Five Arched Bridge' and was built by John Binns in 1832 from plans apparently drawn up by Charles Blacker Vignoles. The bridge carried the Liverpool to Warrington turnpike road (now the A57) over the St.Helens and Runcorn Gap railway.

Bold Bridge from the overgrown path underneath - in 2014 a new 1.67 mile path connecting Dream and Widnes was built

Bold Bridge from overgrown path underneath - in 2014 a new path was built

Bold Bridge from the overgrown path underneath

Bold Bridge in Warrington Road, Sutton, St Helens
One of the bridge's features of interest is the large number of inscriptions found on both of its sides. It's been a tradition for over a hundred years for visitors walking over Bold Bridge to carve their own name or their initials into the stone structure. The oldest uncovered carving dates back to July 1878 when J. Currie took out his pen knife and carved his name. The historic carvings contrast strikingly with the more recent graffiti underneath the bridge which focuses on football teams.

Unfortunately, sandblasting work undertaken on the unlisted bridge in 2008 by St.Helens Council has led to many of the historic carvings being rendered illegible, although some can still just about be read.

Bold Bridge was bombed during the first world war by a Zeppelin airship which damaged a milestone. You can read more in the article '
Zeppelin Attack at Bold'. In April 2016 the bridge was awarded grade 2 listed status by English Heritage.

Joe Molden carved his name on the south side of Bold Bridge in Warrington Road in 1890

Bold Old Hall Bridge - Off Warrington Road
Gate piers at Bold Old Hall Bridge St.Helens
This structure is located 0.9 miles off Warrington Road, Bold Heath and near to the M62 motorway. Of all the bridges on this page, Bold Old Hall Bridge has least aesthetic interest but as one of the oldest bridges in St Helens, it has a remarkable heritage. When Peter Bold developed the Bold Hall Estate in the early 18th century, he commissioned Venetian Architect, Giacomo (a.k.a. James) Leoni (1686 – 1746) to design a new mansion and supporting buildings. The latter, built c.1732, included a simple bridge over a moat alongside two imposing pillars or gate piers as they are known.

The hall was demolished in the 1890s and the only surviving aspects of the estate are the bridge, gate piers, former Bold Hall stable range and associated dwelling house, now a farmhouse. The moat has been filled in so that only the parapet wall remains. The description appended by English Heritage to the bridge's listing status states:
Designed by G. Leoni, the Italian architect and built early C18. Simple single arched bridge over moat. (O.S. GRID REF: 354200 390330)
The gate piers are separately listed and Historic England’s description states:
Designed by Leoni, the Italian architect, and built early C18. The capital of one pier is a restoration. Heavy, massive style, stone. The house was Palladian, now rebuilt in modern times, re-using a 1616 date stone. (O.S. GRID REF: 354200 390250)
Lea Green Bridge - Lea Green Road
This bridge over the Liverpool to Manchester line was built about 1870, replacing a level crossing. It’s situated close to Lea Green Road’s junction with Lowfield Lane and was originally by Lea Green station. This closed to all traffic on September 25th 1958. Only parts of the original structure and brickwork remain, as remedial work has taken place on the bridge over the years. Additional work took place in 2012 as part of Network Rail’s electrification programme.
The parapets on both the eastern and western sides of the bridge are of red brickwork with masonry coping stone. Prior to the work by Network Rail, the height of the parapet varied from 1520mm to 1695m (from base of parapet to top of coping) on the western elevation and from 1595mm to 1745mm on the eastern elevation.

Network Rail removed the existing masonry coping and installed 25 new precast concrete steeple copers to both existing parapets. These measure 265mm in height and increased the parapets' height to between 1635mm and 1810mm on the western side and 1710mm and 1880mm on the eastern elevation.

In 1940 a German plane fired at a train as it passed beneath Lea Green bridge. It narrowly missed the train but left the bridge riddled with bullet holes.
Stephen Wainwright
This website has been written and researched and many images photographed by myself, Stephen Wainwright, the Sutton Beauty & Heritage site owner. Individuals from all over the world have also kindly contributed their own photographs. If you wish to reuse any image, please contact me first as permission may be needed from the copyright owner. High resolution versions of many pictures can also be supplied at no charge. Please also contact me if you can provide any further information or photographs concerning Sutton, St.Helens. You might also consider contributing your recollections of Sutton for the series of Memories pages. Sutton Beauty & Heritage strives for factual accuracy at all times. Do also get in touch if you believe that there are any errors. I respond quickly to emails and if you haven't had a response within twelve hours, check your junk mail folder or resend your message. Thank you! SRW
This website is written and researched by Stephen R. Wainwright ©MMXVI  Contact Me
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