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Newlay Bridge

Hob Uid: 51380
Location :
Leeds
Horsforth
Grid Ref : SE2387036940
Summary : A cast-iron road bridge on masonry abutments, now pedestrianised, carries Pollard Lane over the River Aire at Newlay in Leeds. It was built in 1819 by John Pollard, a local mill-owner, and manufactured by the firm of Aydon & Elwell of the Shelf Ironworks, near Bradford. It replaced bridges of 1783, 1616 and earlier. It is Grade II*-listed.
More information : (SE 2387 3694) Pollard Bridge (shown but not described on OS 6"). (1)

SE 240367. Pollard Bridge crosses the River Aire at Horsforth. Built of cast iron it was erected in 1819 and is approx. 92ft long and 12ft 6 ins wide. A stone building at the north end was the original toll house.
Recommended Schedule. (2-3)

Newlay Bridge, centred at SE 23877 36941, is a single span, cast-iron road bridge, now pedestrianised, on masonry abutments, that carries Pollard Lane across the River Aire at Newlay, Leeds. It is Grade-II* listed (4a), and lies within the modern Conservation Area of Newlay, Leeds

The bridge comprises a single, segmental arch with open spandrels, supported on sandstone abutments. The arch is made up of four cast-iron ribs, each rib connected to a corresponding horizontal deck joist by a number of radial spandrel posts or stiles, creating a series of rhomboidal openings through the structure. Rib, stiles and joist are all cast as a single unit, but an engineering drawing of 1929 in the Network Rail Archive (NRA) shows that each rib/joist member consists of five separate castings bolted together (4b). The radial nature of the spandrel posts means that the joints between the castings are angled rather than vertical, and the faces of the abutments, to which the two end castings are bolted, angled accordingly to receive them. Each casting, apart from that in the centre, also has a small plate, seemingly integral with it and in the shape of a segment of a circle, set into the angle of joist and stile nearest the crown of the arch; these plates do not appear structural but their exact purpose is unclear. The listing description (4a) describes the ribs/joists as of H-section, but they may perhaps more accurately be described as rectangular with very shallow flanges. Each rib/joist is braced to its neighbour(s), top and bottom, by hollow, half-section rods with circular end plates to enable the bracer to be bolted or rivetted to the face of the rib or joist; the spacing of the bracers corresponds to that of the stiles. (The current listing description (4a) describes the rods as being of wrought iron, but they, too, seem to be cast). On the external elevations, the bolt/rivet heads are incorporated into the decorative finish of the bridge by being set into roundels that lie on the line of a vertical bar cast in low relief on the outer face of each stile. At the joints between castings, however, the members are braced instead by E-section bars bolted to an additional flange on the end of each casting. A recessed panel in the middle of the central casting on each elevation (ie, at the crown of the arch) is, in terms of design, evocative of a dropped keystone; it features the words ‘J.P ESQr A.D 1819’ above an oval medallion, all cast in relief. The medallion is in the goût grec style revived by Robert Adam in the 1760s, and is a decorative device that recurs elsewhere on the bridge (see string course, below). Diagonal cross-bracing, using angle-irons attached to clamps on the ribs, has latterly been added to the soffit of the arch to make the structure more rigid. According to the NRA drawing (4b), the arch has a span of 81 feet 7½ inches (24.88m) and widths in the centre of 11 feet 3 inches (3.43m) and at the abutments of 12 feet 9 inches (3.89m) (ie it is slightly concave in plan view).

The underside of the bridge deck appears to comprise a series of cast-iron plates, again bolted to flanges on the joists. Above these, the roadway is formed of modern stone cobbles between tarmac pavements. In elevation, however, the deck is picked out by a row of cast-iron panels in imitation of a string course. The panels form a mixture of larger, horizontal, rectangles and smaller vertical ones, laid in an AAB arrangement repeated twelve times without the final B. The larger panels all feature the same central, Adamesque medallion, cast in relief, as seen on the ‘keystone’; the smaller ones, by contrast, are plain. The parapets comprise round-section, stick-baluster railings, each side consisting of twelve sections in sympathy with the string course, subdivided by decorative openwork standards. These standards stand above the vertical panels of the string course and, in contrast to the railings, consist of ironwork that is rectangular in cross-section; there are diamond-latticed panels at the bottom, and Y-traceried panels at the top, of each. The railings run between ashlar terminal piers that stand above the abutments. According to the list description (4a), the railings were replaced and the cobbles relaid in the 1980s. The piers are square in section, tapering slightly towards the top, and have pyramidal caps rising from a straight moulding, itself set in from a larger straight moulding that sits above a cavetto moulding. The wing walls are of dressed masonry with slightly ridged copings. Attached to the inside of the centre of the eastern balustrade is an oval cast plaque with raised lettering. This reads JOHN/POLLARD/NEWLAY HOUSE/ERECTED THIS/BRIDGE/A.D/1819 above an octagonal medallion containing the words AYDON & ELWELL./SHELF/IRON WORKS./NEAR BRADFORD/YORKSHIRE. Vehicular traffic is now prevented from entering the bridge by four bollards placed in the roadway at the start of the northern approach, and at the south end by modern fencing that imitates the parapet railings. All metalwork on the bridge is painted dark brown with the railings and decorative detail picked out in a mustard yellow.

The north-west terminal pier has affixed to it a small, cast-iron, oval plaque, painted green and white, bearing the legend 27A/TJC3; the number 27A, now faded, is also still visible painted onto the cap above the plaque. TJC3 is the railway Engineering Line Reference (ELR) identification number for the line between Tapton Junction (Chesterfield) and Colne (4c); it includes what is now the route between Leeds and Skipton that runs nearby. (The former Newlay Station used to be accessed from Pollard Lane south of the bridge). Indeed, Leeds City Council Bridges Section records state that the bridge is now jointly owned by themselves (asset number L00121) and Network Rail (4d).

It is clear from the evidence of the plaque on the railings that the bridge was manufactured in 1819 by the firm of Aydon & Elwall for one John Pollard. According to the Leodis website, Pollard was a local landowner, resident at Newlay House. The bridge cost £1500 to build, and a toll of one old half penny was charged to pass over which brought in £600 per year; it replaced an earlier bridge on the site, for which Pollard was also responsible, dating from 1783 (4e). The listing description adds that Pollard owned a scribbling mill and weaving shed on the south side of the river, and erected the new bridge to connect Whitecote with the Leeds-Horsforth turnpike (4a). The toll house, listed at grade II (NHLE 1240012), still exists at the north-east corner of the bridge. Rennison states that the bridge was taken over in 1880 jointly by the Midland Railway and Horsforth Council since it provided access to Newlay Station (4f). All this information fits in well with available cartographic evidence which indicates no bridge at the site in 1771 (4g), a Toll Bridge in 1851 (4h) and a bridge apparently toll-free in 1893 (4i). According to Preston there had been earlier bridges at Newlay, including one erected in 1615-16 (presumably therefore destroyed by the time of Jefferys’ map in 1771), paid for mostly by one James Cootes of Headingley; this was to be built ‘where sometime an olde bridge hath bene’, suggesting it replaced a destroyed or ruinous medieval precursor (4j). Rennison adds, incorrectly, that each member of the current bridge consists of three castings, not five, secured on pin-type bearings (4f). The firm of Aydon & Elwell, who operated from the Shelf Ironworks between 1794 and 1824 when they were taken over by the Low Moor Company, developed a reputation as iron-bridge manufacturers after 1810, specialising in moveable spans, particularly for docks (4k). The bridge is one of only two by the firm that survive in Yorkshire - the other being the Gasworks Bridge (NHLE 1184757, listed at Grade II) at Sowerby Bridge (4a) - although it has design similarities with the Cliff Bridge at Scarborough (NHLE 1242898, again listed Grade II), built in 1827 with ironwork provided by the purchasers of Aydon & Elwell’s business: Hird & Co of the Low Moor Foundry (4l). The bridge also has design similarities with the now demolished cast-iron Dunham Bridge of 1830 across the River Trent between Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire (NRHE 324781), designed and built by the engineer George Leather who had offices in Leeds (4m).

The bridge is named as Newlay Bridge (name published in Non-Antiquity Type) on all Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping from 1851 onwards (4h, 4i). It is included in the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW) index, although without a sub-panel grading (4n). (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1967
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Indust. Mon Survey (Prov Schedule List) March 1974 7
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Source Number : 4G
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : WYAS C559/82: The County of York Survey’d, by Thomas Jefferys. Surveyed 1767-70 and engraved 1771
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Source Number : 4H
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10560 County Series 1851
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Source Number : 4I
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500 County Series 1893
Page(s) : 214-5
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Source Number : 4J
Source : The Bradford antiquary
Source details : W Preston, ‘Notes on the Rebuilding of some Aire and Calder Bridges’, Bradford Antiquary, 6, 1921
Page(s) : 135-48
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Source Number : 4K
Source : Biographical dictionary of civil engineers in Great Britain and Ireland: Volume 1. 1500-1830
Source details : http://www.ice.org.uk/Information-resources/Panel-for-historical-engineering-works/Details?hewID=2054. Accessed 12-DEC-2012
Page(s) : 214-15
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Source Number : 4L
Source : The Scarborough Souvenir
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Source Number : 4M
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : M J T Lewis 1978 Dunham Bridge A Memorial History, 27
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Source Number : 4N
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://www.ice.org.uk/Information-resources/Panel-for-historical-engineering-works/Details?hewID=2054. Accessed 12-DEC-2012
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE(HHR) Horsforth UD Yorks Oct 1960 2
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Paul Moores & Marcus Jecock/EH: NHPP 6189 Flooding & Historic Bridges Project/12-JUN-2013
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Source Number : 4A
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1375481. Accessed 12-DEC-2012
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Source Number : 4B
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Network Rail Archive (NRA) 104744LNE
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Source Number : 4C
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://deaves47.zxq.net/ELRs/ELRa.htm. Accessed 12-DEC-2012
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Source Number : 4D
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Leeds Council Bridges Section records for structure L00121
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Source Number : 4E
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : http://www.leodis.net/searchResults.aspx?LOCID=9999&DECADE=0&YEAR=&KEYWORDS=Newlay Bridge&KEYWORDS2=&ANDOR2=&KEYWORDS3=&ANDOR3 =&RECSPAGE=5&IMG=0&VIEW=1&RESID=&PUBID=&CURRPAGE=1. Accessed 22-JUL-2013
Page(s) : 181-2
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Source Number : 4F
Source : Civil engineering heritage : northern England
Source details : WYAS C559/82: The County of York Survey’d, by Thomas Jefferys. Surveyed 1767-70 and engraved 1771
Page(s) : 181-2
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : pre-1615
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Road Bridge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1616
Monument End Date : 1616
Monument Start Date : 1616
Monument Type : Road Bridge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1783
Monument End Date : 1783
Monument Start Date : 1783
Monument Type : Road Bridge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1819-1880
Monument End Date : 1880
Monument Start Date : 1819
Monument Type : Toll Bridge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1819
Monument End Date : 1819
Monument Start Date : 1819
Monument Type : Road Bridge, Arch Bridge
Evidence : Extant Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1240013
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1375481
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (West Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 3125
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Leeds City Council Bridge UID
External Cross Reference Number : L00121
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Network Rail ELR Asset Number
External Cross Reference Number : TJC3/27A
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 23 NW 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :