Croston Station Bridge


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Bretherton Road, Croston, Leyland, Lancashire, PR26 9HZ


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Statutory Address:
Bretherton Road, Croston, Leyland, Lancashire, PR26 9HZ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Chorley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Railway overbridge, constructed in about 1846 for the East Lancashire Railway Company; by Joseph Locke, John Errington and Sturges Meek.

Reasons for Designation

Croston Station Bridge, of about 1846, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it was constructed about 1846 during the 'heroic age' and 'railway mania' of the second phase of railway construction; * it is an intact and well-executed example of an elliptical-arched overbridge designed by Joseph Locke, John Errington and Sturges Meek.

Historic interest:

* for its association with Joseph Locke, one of the great railway engineers alongside the Stephensons and Brunel;

Group value:

* with other listed structures on the former Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston railway, including shared architectural style with the Grade II-listed and contemporary Burscough and Ormskirk bridges.


Croston Station Bridge forms part of the Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston railway line which was authorised for construction on 18 August 1846, and run by the East Lancashire Company (ELC). The over-bridge, across a double track line, is first shown on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1847 (surveyed 1846-1847) map but the route was opened on Monday 1 April 1849 without ceremony, due to disputes with the North Union Railway company. Messrs McKenzie, Brassey and Stephenson, with civil engineers John Locke, John Errington and Sturges Meek, received the contract and produced elevations, plans and sections for the line and its bridges. Similar solidly designed sandstone rock-faced over-bridges are identified at: Burscough Junction, Ormskirk and Maghull. In 1859 the East Lancashire Railway company was amalgamated with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) and by the OS 1894 (surveyed 1892-1893) map a new station building was built on the east platform directly south of the bridge.

A 1900s photograph and the OS 1910 (revised 1908) map show gated openings inserted into the bridge’s south elevation, with lamps set on the parapet wall, to give access to the east and west platform via painted timber stairs (one L-shaped the other straight). From 1 January 1922 the L&YR was amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway Company (LNWR) and the latter was then amalgamated into the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company (LM & SR) from 1 January 1923. A 1936 LM & SR condition survey shows the gated pedestrian openings in the bridge, with timber stairs and parapet lamps still in situ. The timber stairs remained in situ on the OS 1973 map, although the double railway track had been altered to a single line around 1970. A title deed plan from 1995 indicates the timber stairs were removed, and bridge openings infilled, following the sale of the passenger station building between 1973 and 1995. Condition surveys produced in 1999, for repair works, show the single track with the east platform running through the tunnel.


Railway overbridge, about 1846, by Messrs Mackenzie, Brassey and Stephenson for the Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway line.

MATERIALS: sandstone.

DESCRIPTION: not inspected, information from other sources. The single-span, rock-faced sandstone overbridge is laid out on an east-west axis over the single Croston railway line. The bridge has an elliptical arch with voussoirs (span around 8.8m), and a chamfered string band set below capped parapet walls and across two pilaster strip abutments either side of the arch. The south elevation has masonry blocked openings at the east and west end of the wall, which formerly provided access points to the platforms below. The barrel arch is constructed of red brick and its abutments have a dressed string band at the spring level of the arch. An east platform is also set against the arch abutment. The roadway has C20 pavements either side of the tarmac road.


Books and journals
Brooke, D (ed), The Diary of William Mackenzie, the First International Railway Contractor, (2000), 478
Clark, H, Weale, J, The Railway Register and Record of Public Enterprise for Railways, Mines, Patents and Inventions (Volume II), (1845), 242
Manby, C (ed.), Minutes of Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers, (1852)
Illustrated London News, Saturday 7 April 1849
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Brassey, Thomas (1805-1870)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Errington, John Edward (1806-1862)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Mackenzie, William (1794-1851)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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