A bit of a mystery

By Pauline & Malcolm Marples


An inquiry into one of the photos placed on  our 'Walts Cafe (Bridge Tea Rooms)' page, set us searching into our own photo albums and slides. The aim was to discover the wording on the plaque that was once on Blyth Bridge. Despite re-scanning early negatives and photographs (2¼ square) at much greater definitions the only wording on the plaque we can make out is:


In an attempt to discover more about the bridge itself the following was discovered:-

Extract from Whites Directory of Nottinghamshire 1853

About 90 years ago, the town of Blyth, and the country around it for several miles, belonged to William Mellish Esq., who cut "a river four miles long and ten yards wide, as a drainage to a large extent of low land in the centre of his estate, capable of being made as fine a meadow as any in England". He also made, at his own expense, ten miles of road, and built several farm-houses and above thirty cottages, all in the most substantial manner, of brick and tile. Besides beautifying and enlarging the hall, he erected an extensive pile of stabling, and ornamented his estate with upwards of 200 acres of plantations, which are now in a thriving state. He also built on the high road, in front of the hall, a superb bridge of Roche Abbey stone, for the convenience of crossing the extensive stretch of water, which is formed on a most magnificent scale, by damming up the River Ryton and a small brook which flows into it a little below the town.


On, it was discovered the bridge is listed and the following information is given


Blyth New Bridge
2/71 (Formerly listed as
The Bridge)
4.1.52 I

Bridge and retaining walls with wrought iron railings, c,1770, probably by John Carr of York for William Mellish of Blyth Hall. Ashlar and wrought iron. Set on a plinth. 3 rusticated ashlar arches with flat rusticated piers, dentillated cornice to the east and moulded cornice to the west. Each pier is surmounted by an ashlar block with coping, decorated to the west with a roundel and to the east with a roundel over a swag. In between these blocks run the coped and damaged balusters, forming a balustraded parapet which terminates in single decorative ashlar scrolls
resting on the retaining approach walls. These walls are coped and have wrought iron railings with rusticated round terminal piers.

From the Nottingham Evening Post 26 July 1910, we discover the bridge is being repaired;

The Highways Committee reported they had accepted the tender of Mr C Baines of Newark for the repair of Blyth Bridge at a cost of £81- 7s and 6d.

Arthur Mee writing about Blyth [Nottinghamshire] circa 1938;

'The little River Ryton flows on three sides of the village, passing under the road near an old dovecote. From the three-arched bridge spanning it on the road to Maltby we see a delightful picture of the church and the great house, charmingly grouped with the river and noble trees.'

Despite all this, nothing is mentioned about the plaque on the bridge so the rest of the words remain a mystery, additionally so does the fate of the plaque as on our 1989 photos it is no longer there.

All our photos were taken when out cycling, and this was a popular area for cyclists in days gone by, so do any other cyclist have photos showing the plaque on Blyth Bridge?

Photo:Blyth bridge circa 1949

Blyth bridge circa 1949

Alfred Marples

Photo:Blyth Bridge early 1950s

Blyth Bridge early 1950s

Alfred Marples

Photo:Blyth Bridge 25 August 1989 Note the plaque has gone

Blyth Bridge 25 August 1989 Note the plaque has gone

M Marples

Photo:Blyth Bridge 25 August 1989

Blyth Bridge 25 August 1989

M Marples

This page was added by Pauline Marples on 01/09/2015.

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