Methley Water Bridge

Methley Water Bridge, 1935.

It spanned the River Calder on the main Leeds - Pontefract road. This is one of many bridges which replaced Otterford Ferry. Methley Bridge figures largely in the history of the village with many records of repairs and rebuilding.
There are records of many bequests and legacies for repairing and rebuilding the bridge. In one of the earliest in 1533, Richard Lound left a legacy "to the mendyng of the newe bryge iiijd". In 1547 another legacy, by Richard Wilkinson, "to the mendinge of Metheley Bridge". Two years later the bridge was rebuilt and several legacies were left for that purpose - 1550, 1554, 1555, 1557, 1558, and 1563More Information cane be found in Chapter 7 of the History of Methley. A 1610 order of the Quarter Sessions at Doncaster shows that then,

or somewhat earlier, the Quarter Sessions had accepted the responsibility for the maintenance of Methley Bridge, which henceforth ranked as a Riding (or County) Bridge.
A 1611 record in the Register of Baptisms records "Methley Bridge was built this year" and again in 1779 in the Register of Baptisms another record states "Methley Bridge was built this year and the year following".
In 1793 there was a meeting in the Rose and Crown on October 10th for issuing a document for 'Advertisement for Letting the rebuilding of an Arch in the road North of Methley Bridge', production of details of workmanship to be completed under Plan and Method of Mr. W. Gott and 'Estimate for the expence of rebuilding the Arch at the West end of Methley Bridge' - detailed estimate giving total, including stone from Woodlesford 138-6s-10d and stone from Wakefield Outwood quarries of 120-0s-0d.
The date for the building of the bridge shown on the photo is not known. It was very narrow, particularly on the hump. There were three stone arches, low stone parapets and a narrow causeway on the north side. It was so narrow two large vehicles could not pass on the crown of the bridge, and was specially dangerous in fog when vehicles, including buses, often scraped on the low stone parapets. The bridge became a hazard as road traffic increased. This bridge closed in 1959 and a new bridge, the present one, was built.
In July 1958 the West Riding County Council approved the expenditure of 145,000 on a new bridge over the Calder. The bridge was erected 1959-60. A Bailey bridge was constructed over the river on the south side while the demolition of the old bridge and erection of the new bridge were completed.

Bus on Methley Water Bridge, mid 1950s.

Double decker bus on the bridge, going from Castleford to Methley. Shows the narrowness of the bridge, the low stone parapets and the narrow footpath.

Methley Water Bridge, March, 1990.

The bridge constructed in 1969/60, - a flat, wide bridge on concrete slabs. The River Calder is a boundary of Methley.

 

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