The Bridges of Heywood

There have been bridges around Heywood for centuries, the first one probably being Heap Bridge. When did Heywood's major bridges open?

This page is updated as new information comes to hand. Any further information that readers can provide on this subject is always welcome.

Heap Bridge: 1884

Heap Bridge, circa 1910.

The current bridge dates from 1884, but there would have been a bridge at this spot centuries earlier. The waters are quite shallow here, which in pre-bridge days would have made it a convenient place to cross the river and provide a route to and from Bury from the south-east.

Queen's Park Bridge: 1933

Queen's Park Road over the bridge.

Prior to the construction of this large bridge, the road (then known as William Street) only ran as far as the park gates. The name was changed to Queen's Park Road with the opening of the bridge.

Hooley Bridge: ??

Hooley Bridge.

This would have been an important north-south route in early centuries, which probably first developed here because the water at this spot is quite shallow and would have been crossable prior to a bridge being built. There are references to a bridge here during the 17th century, but the current bridge appears to be a late-mid 19th-century type.

Bottom o'th' Brow Bridge: 1900s

Bottom o' th' Brow Bridge. (Geoff Dixon)

This bridge at the confluence of the River Roch and Wrigley Brook was erected in the 1900s to service the new sewerage works next to Gristlehurst Woods.

Simpson Clough Bridge; Crimble Bridge, - to come


Anonymous said…
I was recently browsing your blog entries from this year and found your entry about bridges of Heywood.

I do a google search once in a while for places where a couple of my families lived in the Heywood area. Last year I came across a nice archaeological report for the site of Hooley Bridge Mills.

Perhaps you have already seen it, but in case you have not, here’s the link to a pdf of the report.

On pg. 20 of the pdf, p. 8 of the report, the author stated:
“Hooley Bridge Mills, and the industrial village that surrounded the mills, took their name
from the bridge over the river Roch that had been built by the time that Yate’s
map was produced in 1786.”

A small section of the Yates map is included in the report. The Yates map provides a date of at least 1786 for the bridge, assuming it is the exact same structure.

Perhaps there is an archaeological report or something similar for the bridge itself buried in a local archive somewhere?

I enjoy looking in on your Heywood blog once in a while & especially enjoy reading about the local history of the area. Well done, blog on!

C. Etter
Hooley Bridge is marked on the Heywood Hall Map 1718 and there is an item at the Lancashire record office to a repair. Reference: DDKE/9/21/50 Description: Pet. Heywood - asking for copy of order for repair of Wooley bridge made about 3 years ago. Date: 22 Oct. 1638.
Thank you for all the work you are putting in I really admire how you put all our local information together, mine is on hundreds of pieces of paper and word doc files. Thank you.
Chris Dawson said…
Thanks Sylvia, that's great information I hadn't seen before. The current bridge looks like a late 19th century job, but yes there bridges there since the earliest times. Well, certainly since the 1630s, as the records show. No doubt much earlier, as the Heywoods would have wanted access to the north of the river, and people to the north (a few big halls and farmland there) would have wanted to cross over too. I've never seen the 1718 map - any chance you could send a digital copy please???
Chris, if your searching for pre 19th century information on Hooley Bridge try the old spellings of Wooley Bridge and Owley Bridge(plus variants).
Chris Dawson said…
Thanks Sylvia, that hadn't occurred to me. I'll try it out.
Chris Dawson said…
Thanks CE - I haven't found much more info about the bridge but you are of course correct about the 1786 structure. Whether or not that is the same one as is currently there remains to be seen.
Unknown said…
Years ago I found a report from an old chap in the Advertiser who said he remembered Heap Bridge being built in 1777 ...........
Unknown said…
Sorry, just re-read the article and it was REBUILT in 1777 so obviously there was one there before