Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jackson Bridge..tolls

Approach to Jackson's Boat Bridge
Approach to the bridge from Rifle Road and the public house
Hardy Lane would be just come to an end at the River Mersey but at the end there is a footbridge to a pub and beyond into Cheshire. According to Thomas Ellwood who wrote about the history of Chorlton-cum-Hardy in 1885-86, and whose writings have been copied ever since..."The first bridge was erected in 1816, at a cost of £200, by Samuel Wilton. It was a wooden structure, with three supports sunk into the bed of the stream". Mr. Wilton ran the public house and instead of relying on the small ferry boat probably thought access via footbridge, very likely with a toll, would be better for trade. He never realised his investment for he was declared bankrupt in 1817.
Jackson Boat Bridge......Jackson Boat Bridge
The second replacement bridge, and the one you walk across today was erected in 1881. Again according to Thomas Ellwood "it was paid for by Mr. John Brooks." Don't know how much it cost but we know there was a toll of 1/2d if on foot, 1d with a bicycle. No information if you came on a horse or mule. There was a gate on the bridge near the pub side, and you can still see where it was positioned.

Mr. John Baguley Brooks (1856-1886) had inherited the land and property from the estate of his late father, Rev. John Brooks (1825-1856). He was then a 25 year old barrister from the wealthy Brooks family. He was later very briefly MP for Altrincham winning the seat in the 1885 General Election for the Conservative cause. But took ill and passed over when just aged 30 whilst in London a year later.

Going back even further Samuel Brooks (1792-1864) bought the land. A very successful banker who bought realty and developed estates of big houses for rich people in Whalley Range, Brooklands, and Hale Barns. He had three sons and five daughters, the eldest one, William, inherited the bank and lived at Barlow Hall, Chorlton.

One thing still puzzles. How come this bridge charged tolls, usually that power and the tariff was laid down by an Act of Parliament. Not found one so far, nor the year, sometime in the 1950's, when the tolls ceased...but then historical research isn't spoon fed it is prised from wide reading.

Historians of Chorlton Thomas Ellwood (Andrew Simpson)
Wikipedia has an outline of some the Brooks family : Samuel Brooks ; William Cunliffe Brooks
John Baguley Brooks

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