Keadby Bridge

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Keadby Bridge
Keadby Bridge.jpg
Keadby Bridge
Coordinates 53°35′09″N 0°43′52″W / 53.5857°N 0.7311°W / 53.5857; -0.7311Coordinates: 53°35′09″N 0°43′52″W / 53.5857°N 0.7311°W / 53.5857; -0.7311
Crosses River Trent
Other name(s) King George V Bridge
Heritage status Grade II listed structure
Total length 548 feet (167 m)
Longest span 150 feet (46 m)
Opened 1916

Keadby Bridge, more formally known as the King George V Bridge, crosses the River Trent near Althorpe and Keadby in Lincolnshire, England. It was designed by Alfred Charles Gardner FRSE MIME.[1]


The Lincolnshire Echo reported that the first passenger train to cross the new bridge left Althorpe Station at 10:35am on 21 May 1916. The train was driven by Herbert Duke of Mexborough and on the invitation of Sir Sam Fay, Joshua Slowan of Barnetby, who had driven the first passenger train across the old bridge, rode on the engine.[2]

Plaque on Keadby Lifting Bridge regarding its opening on 21 May 1916

This Scherzer rolling lift bridge carries both road and rail traffic across the River Trent. It was built between 1912 and 1916 by the Great Central Railway to replace a previous swing bridge built by the South Yorkshire Railway and opened in 1864.[3] It carries a double track railway line on the southern side, and the two-lane, single carriageway A18 road on the north side.

Keadby Bridge, from Althorpe Railway Station

Its 50-metre (163 ft) electrically powered bascule (lifting span) was one of the first of its type in Britain and when built, was the largest in Europe. Designed by James Ball and C A Rowlandson and built by contractors Sir William Arrol & Co. it has three main spans and two approach spans. The eastern main span was the one that lifted. The Scherzer bascule rolled and rotated on counterbalance. It was electrically powered, originally by a large storage battery fed by petrol-driven generators housed in the engine room beneath the east approach span.[4] This was later modified to mains electricity.

Signalling diagram of the former bridge signal box

The bridge was controlled from a wooden signal cabin, mounted by the north-east side of the lifting (east) span. It was fitted out with a 28-lever frame of British Pneumatic Railway Signal Company design.

The bridge has not been lifted since 1956. The bridge was widened and the headroom increased in 1960 and the bascule was fixed in position.[5] At the same time the signal cabin was removed from the bridge structure.

Keadby Bridge from upstream east bank

Next crossing upstream River Trent Next crossing downstream
M180 motorway  Keadby Bridge
Grid reference: SE840106


  1. ^ Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: May 1953: obituaries
  2. ^ Lincolnshire Echo, Monday 22nd May 1916
  3. ^ Manchester Times, Saturday 21 May 1864
  4. ^ Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, volume 203 (1916-17).
  5. ^ Civil engineering heritage: Eastern and central England. E. A. Labrum

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