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Chester bridge enjoys welcome refurbishment

Published date: 06 August 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A HISTORIC bridge that marked the northern border of Chester has been renovated amid concerns it was falling into disrepair.

Resident Lila Hallett, who lives in the Garden Quarter, contacted the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Bob Rudd, asking him to turn his attention to the Cheyney Road stone bridge.

Damaged stonework was replaced and short sections of the wall carefully dismantled and reconstructed, using new stones to match the existing ones.

Stone masons also removed the modern hard cement mortar and re-pointed with a lime mortar to help preserve the soft sandstone blocks.

The work was funded through Section 106 money, which is cash paid by housing and retail companies in the area to offset the impact their developments may have.

The present day bridge likely dates back to the 19th or early 20th century, but the earliest reference to a bridge at the site is between 1220 and 1250 when known as Wyardesbrugge.

Cllr Rudd said: “I know many will be fascinated by the history of what some people thought were just boundary walls in this particular location.

“I am very pleased the work has been undertaken and laser scanning was carried out before and after the work because these drawings will add to the historic record of the location.”

The former bridge carried Cheyney Road over Finchett’s Gutter until the stream was diverted in the early 1970s.

Finchett’s Gutter is part of the stream marking the northern boundary of Chester and is known at various points along its course as Flookersbrook, Newton Brook and Bache Brook.

In the past the River Dee roughly followed the line of Saughall Road and so the stream flowed into the river a little way south of the bridge.

The bridge is important as it marks the site of a medieval anchorage on the Dee known as the Portpool where cargo was unloaded and the stream was called Portpool Brook.

In the 1970s the stream bed to the north and south of the bridge was filled in and lower sections of the bridge buried.

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