This footbridge over the Don Navigation carries a path that links the Eastwood and Parkgate areas of Rotherham. To the south is a Bayley bridge crossing of the River Don (see SK4394 : Preserved Bailey Bridge over River Don
) and Eastwood. To the north is a crossing of the Rotherham to Swinton railway line (see SK4394 : Railway Footbridge - 2, Parkgate, Rotherham
) and Parkgate.
Eastwood Footbridge is shown as “swing bridge” on the 2000 edition of the OS Explorer map - the existence of a swing bridge at this point is borne out by the “constriction” in the Navigation visible in the photograph.
The public footpath over Eastwood Footbridge is a good example of how a right of way has been maintained in spite of natural and man-made obstacles:
* Firstly, there must have been a man-made crossing of the River Don which linked Park Gate in the north with Eastwood in the south.
* When the Don Navigation (Rotherham Cut) was constructed in 1740 (see Link
), a swing bridge (now a footbridge) was provided to maintain the right of way.
* When the MS&L railway was constructed in 1868 (see Link
), a crossing was provided (now a footbridge).
* In the 1990’s, when the Parkgate Retail Park was constructed, a narrow pedestrian gap was provided in what would otherwise have been a continuous 600m row of retail units in order to preserve the right of way.
* However, this is no longer a pedestrian-friendly route – there are 96 steps on the 2 footbridges and a walker has to brave the crossing of the many car parks and service roads in the Retail Park.
* PS (Feb 2014): The footbridge has been closed, but will be replaced (see Link