Monday, December 19, 2011

Hardy Lane Goes to Rifle Road

Hardy Lane originally ended here at Jackson's Boat. When this picture was taken in 1900 the public house was called the Bridge Inn and it is listed in street directories as the last property on the lane even though it is on the south bank of the River Mersey. The iron bridge was built in 1881 at the E.Bellhouse Iron Foundry in Ancoats when Manchester was an industrial city. It replaced an earlier wooden bridge. There was a penny toll for using the bridge right up until the 1950's. It was one of the few bridges in Britain that charged for pedestrians. Like to know to whom the money was paid to perhaps the people who paid for the bridge?

Note the steep approach to the bridge which sits atop of the flood protection embankments. It's constructed of stone setts, still there and still tricky to go down with a bicycle or when wet. The gates and wooden steps shown in this picture have long gone. Hardy Lane then runs into what is now called Rifle Road. When this photograph was taken it was a narrow country track and the first building you would have come to was Sale Old Hall. That was demolished in 1920. You can still see an old dovecote that was in the grounds of the hall for it has been restored to a new home in Walkden Gardens, Sale. It's well worth visiting the Walkden Gardens - a hidden jewel, free admission, take a sandwich, explore and enjoy.

Further reference and better image : Trafford Lifetimes
E.Bellhouse Jackson's Boat Bridge.


Andrew Simpson said...

And during the mid 19th century the place was run by Samuel Nixon whose son ran a beer shop on Beech Road. When the pub passed hands in the early 19th century the landlord still had the rights to charge a fee for ferrying people across the river, this in despite of the fact that a bridge had been built.

lorenzo23 said...

Interesting. Need to find out who paid for the wooden bridge and then the metal bridge and why they could charge a toll.

Andrew Simpson said...

Sam Wilton built the first bridge around 1818, he is listed as running the pub as at some point

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