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What happened to bridges 1-16 of the Northern Grand Union Canal?


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On 08/04/2021 at 17:58, Ray T said:

Did this little bridge ever receive a number?

 

It is / was between Napton Junction and Wigram's top lock. ( Given the lock the name the working boaters knew, not the Calcutt 3.) :ninja:

 

 


And we should leave it with the working boaters, they at least didn’t mis-spell it. It’s a real pity that the owners of the marina didn’t do a little research before adopting it.

Edited by Captain Pegg
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Coming back to the OP's question - I'm sure there are people out there who have this all worked out, but I've never given it much thought, despite boating this stretch maybe more than any other.

Did the GUCCo. number the same 16 bridges which currently use the OCC numbering?

This partly from memory and Google Earth, working from Napton Junction to Braunston Stop House:

16: A425, OCC 108

15: the other A425, OCC 107

14: Lower Shuckborough farm bridge now missing OCC 106

13: Lower Shuckborough ladder bridge OCC 105

12: Lower Shuckborough road bridge OCC 104

11: Accommodation Br. OCC 103

10: Flecknoe Road OCC 102

9: Nethercote Lane OCC 101

(Daventry-Warwick railway line)

8: Accommodation Br. 100

7: Accommodation Br. 99

6: Ivy Bridge OCC 98

(Great Central Railway)

5: End of puddle bank OCC 97

4: Braunston Junction turnover OCC 95

2 & 3: Braunston Junction Horsley bridges OCC 94 & 93

1: A45 (Boatman) OCC 91

 

So did the GUCCo just number both the Horsley iron bridges at Braunston Jn. - the northern one of which is arguably not on the shared stretch? and what about the railway bridges?

 

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56 minutes ago, Richard Carter said:

So did the GUCCo just number both the Horsley iron bridges at Braunston Jn. - the northern one of which is arguably not on the shared stretch? and what about the railway bridges?

 

I guess the railway bridges weren't Oxford Canal assets and thus weren't numbered by either company. 

Incidentally, the practice of leaving gaps for assets that "might" join the list later extends to motorway junctions - when I lived in Cardiff, the M4 junction numbering missed out 30 and 31 - number 30 is now Cardiff Gate but it is unlikely that 31, which was intended for the Caerphilly Road, will ever be built

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Railway bridges often were not numbered, and it was not allways the practice to number a bridge. The BCN adopted the use of naming a bridge instead of a number and it seems the Warwick & Birmingham, Birmingham & Warwick Junction and Warwick & Napton used the same system (at least until the take over by the GU).

 

So for example the Bridge at Birdingbury (Birbury to locals) is shown on this Ordnance Survey as named

 

 

Birdingbury.png

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On 10/04/2021 at 12:27, Captain Pegg said:

The engineers would likely have known the theory but the combined engineering enterprise did not have the capability to execute them.

The first skew arch bridges were probably built on the Naas branch of the Grand Canal in Ireland, though there is some uncertainty as to their exact method of construction. There are three types of design. The first is, in effect, a standard arch bridge with triangular extensions on either side to create a skew effect. These tend to date from before 1810, and there is a good example at Eanam on the L&LC. On the next type, there is a better skewed arch, with the foot of the arch sitting squarely on the foundation, as with a p[lain arch. This shape is comparatively easy to develop, and was the one used initially in the UK, British engineers not having a sufficiently high level of mathematics to create the third type. In this one, the foot of the arch has the stones meeting the foundation at an angle, such that the sideways forces are supported so that the arch would not slip. This requires a higher level of mathematics for the design, and it was developed by French and German engineers, whose mathematics was of a suitably high level. The early engineering books on developing bridge arches are in French and German, and date from the 1790s onwards. Their engineers were more advanced theoretically than ours, but ours, who were usually craftsmen, were much better able to put their ideas into practice, which is one of the reasons the industrial revolution started here, rather than on the continent.

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Isn't there an early skew bridge over the Hereford and Gloucester Canal? 

And under, rather than over, Store Street Aqueduct on the Ashton Canal in Manchester has an approximately 45 degree skew arch. But the underside has been cement rendered, so you can't see how the arch masonry is arranged. 

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2 hours ago, David Mack said:

Isn't there an early skew bridge over the Hereford and Gloucester Canal? 

And under, rather than over, Store Street Aqueduct on the Ashton Canal in Manchester has an approximately 45 degree skew arch. But the underside has been cement rendered, so you can't see how the arch masonry is arranged. 

I don't have details of one on the H&GC, but the first photo is Store Street before rendering, followed by March Barn on the Rochdale, another early example. It does depend upon what you call a skew bridge, the final photo is the Eanam bridge, showing the triangular section of stonework added to a conventional arch. Skew bridges should really have 'screw' stonework, rather than plain square stonework. I have added Cyril Boucher's section on skew bridges from his book on Rennie.

Store st Aqueduct 13-5-1969, 2234.jpg

March Barn Bridge skew arch 19-3-1979.jpg

Eanam Bridge 079.jpg

Skew bridges.jpg

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15 hours ago, David Mack said:

Some interesting information on skew bridges at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skew_arch

Certainly interesting, but very British-centred. All the early technical books on how to build skew arches are either French or German, and they had moved on to using calculus when we were still only using log tables.

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Some impressive bridges in that Wikipedia article.

 

This is a bridge carrying the main line from St Pancras across the old branch that went from St. Albans London Road to Hatfield - the old Licky Line.

It's almost not skew, but standing directly beneath you can see a bit of it. Impressive for its size, though doesn't match Maidenhead rail bridge over the Thames at Maidenhead.

 

2039710938_SA-HAbranch013(Medium).JPG.c36334347a9b416b5783ca0ac8737a1a.JPG

 

The old London Road Station building is here:

https://tinyurl.com/prf8vsc4

The flat top bridge carries London Rd. and beyond the main line on a skew.

 

From above:

https://tinyurl.com/3ypskcs2

 

 

SA-HA branch014 (Medium).JPG

Edited by Derek R.
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The first photo shows the site of Chapman's first skew bridge on the Naas Branch of the Grand Canal, built 1787. It seems to have been replaced fairly quickly, looking at its replacement. I was suggesting some form of dig on the site to see if any remains survived of the foundations, and the Irish canal historian, Ruth Delany, is looking on.

The second photo is of Shee Bridge on the Grand Canal main line, built 1796. It is also skew, but with random stonework, so not a true skew bridge which should have 'corkscrew' pattern brick or stonework.

The final photo shows the Stockton & Darlington bridge at Cockfield, known locally as the Swin or Swing bridge. It was built in 1830 by James Wilson of Pontefract. I do wonder if he was associated with Jesse Hartley, Liverpool's main Dock Engineer in the Victorian period, as Jesse's father had been Bridgemaster for West Yorkshire. It is a really good example of a skew bridge.

 

 

1999 Grand 779.jpg

DSCF8520.jpg

1986 Butterknowle 993.jpg

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