Packhorse Bridge in Prestolee restored to to former glory

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Work to restore the historic Packhorse Bridge to “safeguard” it for future generations has been completed.

The grade II listed structure at Prestolee Locks is looking better than ever after the extensive work.

Situated in Stoneclough, the bridge has been through a complete overhaul, with stone work replaced using a system approved by Historic England.

A surface was also laid onto the footpath to remedy the muddy conditions usually seen by walkers in the area.

Cllr Paul Sanders said: “I’ve always found it fascinating looking into our local history and restoration works like this help us to appreciate more the industrial heritage we have on our doorsteps.

“A bridge, in one form or another, has been crossing here since medieval times and until the adjacent canal was built in approximately 1796, packhorses were the only form of transport for industry cargo – hence the name of the bridge.

“It’s also wonderful to hear people’s memories of the bridge as they were growing up and also to see the different names used through time by locals; Packhorse Bridge, Cow Bridge and of course the official name Prestolee Bridge.”

Work to repair the listed bridge was approved by planners at Bolton Council in April 2018.

Restoration work was sorely needed by the structure, which was given listed status on August 19, 1986.

The structure, near Moses Gate Country Park, is a popular route for walkers, and has already received a lot of compliments for its new look.

Packhorse Bridge was built before the Prestolee Aqueduct, situated slightly further up the River Irwell.

It is made from stone and is formed of five elliptical arches. The bridge is only five feet wide.

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