Friday, 4 May 2018

Macclesfield Bridge

There are hundreds if not thousands of bridges that cross Britain's canals and rivers, the names of which are sometimes quite straightforward to understand though others are rather more mysterious and esoteric. Take the Macclesfield Bridge that crosses the Regent's Canal near Regent's Park for example, how did it get this name? Macclesfield is rather a long way from London after all!

The bridge, which was designed by James Elms in 1829, was in fact named after the Earl of Macclesfield who was the chairman of the Regent's Canal Company at the time. It gained a new name in 1874 when a barge carrying gunpowder exploded under the bridge destroying it. After the bridge was rebuilt bargemen often referred to it as "Blow Up Bridge"! [1]

[1] Michael Essex-Lopresti, Exploring the Regent's Canal (Brewin Books, 2008) p. 51