Bridges on the Meltham Branch Line
The iron bridges on the line were built by Richard Armitage & Co. of Huddersfield.
The width of the bridge implies that the quarries in Dungeon Wood were still being worked at the time the line was built.
Following the laying out of Beaumont Park in the early 1880s, the bridge became a feature at the lower entrance to the park. However, oily water dripping down from the track onto park visitors walking under the bridge proved to be a problem and the Beaumont Park Committee wrote to the railway company in the autumn of 1888 to request they resolve the issue.
Dungeon Wood Footbridge
Delves Wood Quarry
The bridge still exists and provides access to a small private housing estate.
Nether Moor Road
An overbridge built to carry the line over Nether Moor Road before the road climbs up the hillside past the Bethel Buildings to join Meltham Road. After a short distance, the line then enters Netherton Tunnel.
Crosland Factory Lane
A stone overbridge which carried the railway line over the road dropping down from the turnpike road to Crosland Mills factory.
With the increase in road traffic, the bridge caused issues for lorries accessing the factory and Magdale Vinery. As part of a training exercise, the British Army demolished it the late 1960s. The abutments still survive.
Healey House Tunnel
Healey House Footbridge
A footbridge over the railway line, which provided a route from the turnpike road to Healey House.
Hall Heys: Iron Bridge
Known locally as the Iron Bridge, it was built to carry the line over the Lockwood and Meltham Turnpike Road as it curves and descends towards Bent Ley Mill and the junction to Meltham Mills. Embankments on either side provided the necessary clearance over the road.
Due to the angle of the road, it was a skew bridge with a gap of 88 feet. The first section of the flatbed ironwork across the span was reportedly completed on Thursday 10 August 1865. Together with the wrought iron plates riveted to the side, an estimated 80 tonnes of iron was used. According to the Huddersfield Chronicle, the design was based on the noted tubular Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait by Robert Stephenson.
According to some sources, the wooden panels on the approaches to the bridge were added after a horse was spooked by the sight of an approach train and threw its rider.
The bridge was reportedly dismantled in 1968, soon after the line was closed, and the bridge abutments taken down. The location now marks the northern end of the Meltham Greenway.
Mean Lane Overbridge
An overbridge carrying the railway line over a footpath (sometimes referred to as Mean Lane) from Helme to Bent Ley Mill.
Meltham Mills Halt Footbridge
A raised footbridge which carried a public right of way from Helme to Spinks Mire Mill. A footpath from Meltham Mills Halt climbed up to join the right of way, providing a safe route from the platform to Helme.
Station Road Bridge
An overbridge carrying the railway line over Station Road. The road provided a route between the goods yard and the turnpike road junction at Harewood Toll House.
Meltham Station Footbridges
Two footbridges from Meltham Towngate, the first providing a route Mean Lane, and the second giving access to Meltham Station.
Although the footbridges no longer exist, the stonework abutment on the southern side remains.
Notes and References
- "The New Railway" Huddersfield Chronicle (12/Aug/1865)
- Wikipedia: Britannia Bridge.
- These sources usually claim the rider (named as Samuel Mellor Johnson) was killed on 3 June 1875, however no contemporary newspaper articles were found to substantiate the story, nor are there any relevant genealogical records for anyone of that name.