The bridge over Doxey Brook originally built around 1890 has had major modifications on at least two occasions.
In 1994 the bridge was narrow with no footpaths and (almost) no speed limit (photos 1,4)
In 1994 it was strengthened and widened with four new steel sections on top of the original Victorian base (see photos 10-14). This provided a narrow footpath on the bridge itself although nothing on the Doxey side. Two years later a grass footpath and wooden steps were constructed on the eastern side which provided only a limited improvement (photos 2,5).
In 2008 it was closed for three months to enable a complete rebuild to take place. The structure was completely demolished with one of the 1994 sections was used to create a temporary pedestrian footpath and bridge. A new steel and concrete structure was built with proper footpaths on both sides (photos 3,6).
Evolution of the bridge from west in 1. 1990(?), 2. 2004, 3. 2019
Evolution of the bridgw from east in 4. 1990(?), 5. 2008, 6. 2019
Known facts about the bridge
- - Built 1880-90
- - 1935 - New water main passes under bridge, defective girder found. Repaired by Keays of Birmingham
- - 1938 - Repairs required (done by Staffs County Council (SCC) labour ?)
- - 1949 - Re-painting required
- - 1950 - Insurance claim (drum of paint fell into brook)
- - 1955 - Minor repairs
- - 1960s - M6 built - bridge unchanged - road alignments changed
- - 1974 - Seighford Parish Council (SPC) request widening/footpath
- - 1979 - Railings require repair - safety concerns by School
- - 1981-89 - SPC continue to ask for changes. SCC continue to look at costs.
- - 1994 - Bridge widened and re-decked - 'keystone' removed. No footpath on Doxey side
- - 1996 - Footpath & steps built on Doxey side
- - 2008 - Major rebuild - bridge deck replaced
The '1681' KeystoneWhen the Bridge was widened and re-decked in 1994 a stone was removed from the old structure which apparently read :
When the rebuild was announced it was accompanied by headlines talking about refurbishing a 400 year old bridge. This was strange since there is no evidence for any bridge existing before about 1890. The inscription on the stone is peculiar since the first two lines are neatly carved but the date is very uneven and in a completely different style.
A thought !- The Broad Eye Bridge (near the Mill) used to be referred to as 'Doxey Bridge'. In the late 19th century (1860-1880) the original sandstone construction was demolished and replaced with the current steel bridge.
In late 2008 County Council historians and archeologists examined the stone looking for any additional information but came to no definite conclusions. [Soon afterwards they found the 'Staffordshire Hoard' and that was in bit more interesting !]
There seems to be agreement that the 1691 date is completely false but no-one had any real idea where it came from. The carving of the date is very crude.
The stone was replaced in the footings of the bridge but without any grand unveiling as was originally planned. There is no explanation so the confusion will continue.
nb. The bad carving and the way it is set now makes the date look like 1661 !
Plan of the New Bridge
"Below is the plan of the bridge
courtesy of Staffs County Council. There will be a new footpath from
Doxey Fields to the entrance to the motorway services".
"During the construction of the bridge there will be a temporary footbridge built over Doxey Brook."
A full size .pdf of these plans can be viewed by clicking here.