The Old Tram Road
Page Three of Five
Page Two Page Four
The Tram Road Bridge
The timber bridge spanning the Ribble at Avenham was completed in 1802. The finished bridge was described as being “supported by strong wooden mainstays inserted into the bed of the river, and railed on each side, measuring 135 yards long by 4 yards broad”.

Whilst the tram road was in operation, the footpath along the riverbank passed beneath the tram road bridge but after its closure the path was diverted to cross part way up the slope before reverting to river level to continue its journey to Frenchwood.

The Tram Bridge and Winding House 1850 The Tram Bridge and Winding House 1850. Looking East along the public footpath which originally passed beneath the bridge.
In 1837 the Bolton & Preston Railway Company became the owner of the timber bridge when they purchased the tramway. The bridge supports were in a dangerous condition and the railway company was compelled to replace them to maintain tramroad traffic.

Some twenty years later the bridge, now owned by the North Union Railway Company became unstable. A photograph taken in the 1860’s from the south bank, looking up the incline shows the bridge in very poor condition.

The Tram Bridge 1860 The Tram Bridge 1860. Taken from the south bank looking up the Avenham Incline. Intermediate supports have been installed between the main supports to try to stabilise the structure.
In 1862 the last coal wagon trundled over the groaning bridge after which only pedestrians were allowed to cross. On 17th July the tram road between Avenham and Carr Wood became the property of Preston Corporation under whose ownership the bridge was restored to good condition.

John Proctor, the last driver of the tramway, made two journeys a day, there and back, from Preston to Walton Summit for 32 years. Proctor, like all drivers, was not allowed to ride on the wagons, and it is said that he had to have his clogs resoled every week!

The Tram Bridge 1902 The Tram Bridge 1902. Looking in very good condition as a result of heavy investment from the public purse by Preston Corporation.
Page Two Page Four
Top of Page

  | Home Page | Start of Walk | Contents

Document Size - 33kB
© Photographs - the collections of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.