This is one of only a few through style cast iron arch bridges in the UK. Most cast iron arch bridges are deck arch bridges. This tied through arch has beautiful castellated abutments and the arches themselves are beautiful with gothic sub-arches above the main arch rib. The cast iron superstructure was turned into a decoration only when load-bearing plate girders were added in 1906. Thanks to this early historic preservation effort, the cast iron engineering remains in place today. The bridge originally had floorbeams hung from rods under the bracing that spans between the pairs of arches that are on either side of the railway. One of these floorbeams was retained, presumably for interpretive purposes, while the remainder were removed and replaced with riveted floorbeams for the plate girder.
Details starting on PDF page 155 of the 1838 Railway Practice book (link available above) show another arch bridge with some similar design details to this bridge. See image below. Of interest are the ornamental panels that feature overlapping circles. It is suspected that some sort of similar ornamental panels once existed alongside the bottom chord tie rods of the Gauxholme Viaduct. Lugs and holes are seen on the bottom of the bridge's arch, with nothing attached to them today, hinting at this.
The crown of the arch has a tiny casting of the builder of the bridge. Difficult to read (English Heritage thought it was illegible) it reads: "J Butler & Co. Iron Founders Stanningley Near Leeds 1840."
A stone arch elevated railway viaduct system provides an approach to this bridge, but for clarity this is not being considered part of the actual cast iron bridge.
Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings
Listed At: Grade II
List Entry Number: 1229838
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