Relic of Lost Railway Swing Bridge Over Caldon Canal

Remains of an abandoned railway swing bridge in the Caldon Canal.(Image: Roger Kidd. Abandoned swing bridge relic in Caldon Canal)

At Stanley Moss, near the village of Endon in the Staffordshire Moorlands district, sits this curious man-made island in the middle of the Caldon Canal. According to photographer Roger Kidd, the “island” once supported a swing bridge that carried a light railway across the waterway, to meet the (now equally defunct) Stoke-on-Trent to Leek line near the edge of the canal tow path. Wading across a mucky canal near Doles Bridge may not be an appealing prospect for most, but a yellow warning symbol has nevertheless been placed on the old support to ward off potential visitors – just in case.

Looking down on the Caldon Canal in Staffordshire. The disused Stoke-Leek railway line is to the left.(Image: Google Earth. The man-made island seen from above)

The Caldon Branch of the Trent & Mersey Canal opened in 1779 between the Stoke suburb of Etruria to Froghall, in Staffordshire. The waterway runs for 18 miles through 17 locks and the 119-metre-long Leek Tunnel.

The The Stoke-on-Trent to Leek line was originally part of the North Staffordshire Railway which was built during the Victorian era. The route remained open to freight traffic until 1988 and was later mothballed. Railway enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that proposals for the line’s reopening have been made.

Related: 10 Haunting Abandoned Bridges and Viaducts to Nowhere

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