Tuesday 5 April 2011

Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man made by Andrew Handyside.

Andrew Handyside who made Friar Gate bridge in Derby also made many hundreds of other bridges of many different sizes around the world such as this swinging footbridge at Castletown Harbour in the Isle of Man which is still in use today.

This footbridge was built in Derby at Britannia Iron works by Andrew Handyside and Company Derby and London in 1903 at a cost of £414. This Victorian bridge is still in constant use 107 years later, moving out of the way to allow boats to enter the harbour.!

Castletown Harbour swingbridge, made in Derby !
The Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man.

Photograph showing the bridge from the side:
The Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man.

Photograph showing the Handyside badge on this bridge:
Handyside plaque on the Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man.

Photograph showing the Mechanism that moves the bridge:
Mechanism on the Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man.

Photograph showing the walkway over the bridge :
The Swingbridge at Castletown Harbour, Isle of Man.
I would like to thank Sue M2009 for taking these photographs for me to add to
my Andrew Handyside group.

Click HERE to see where this bridge is located.

Can you help find more Handyside stuff ?
If anyone out there knows of any other bridges around the world bearing the Handyside badge that I have not mentioned yet then please get in touch with details, location, photographs etc.



  1. Great blog, lots of good material. I have only skimmed it so far. Well done.

    I wonder if I may mention a very tenuous link. St John's, Derby (with its cast iron windows) was designed by Francis Goodwin. Some time ago I decided to collect and add images for the Wikipedia entry for this architect, and managed to find 20 or so, which you can see at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Goodwin
    I had to visit a few of them, and I noted the significant use of cast iron, in particular at Holy Trinity Church, Bordesley, Birmingham (1820-1822, Church of Saint Matthew, Church Hill, Walsall. (Rebuild 1820-1821, and I would guess that at some other places I did not visit cast iron was used, maybe in the interior columns etc. Francis Goodwin obviously spent some time in or about Derby,with the St Johns and county Gaol commissions, and he re-designed the front of Meynell Langley, a job that seems to me likely to have been more of a favour for a local influential person (cynic that I am !)I realise this is all a bit pre-Handyside, more Weatherhead and Glover. I seem to remember that the interior of the reconstructed Church of Saint Leonard,Bilston (1825–1826) also had cast iron, but I cannot be sure now. Bilston was interesting as everyone had cast iron grave stones, such was iron casting to Bilston.

  2. I just had another thought. 1.5km SW of Weston on Trent there is the crossing of the old Derby to Ashby railway over the Trent. It is now a long distance cycle path, the Cloud Trail, and goes south to Worthington or beyond. A couple of years ago I cycled it and stopped on the bridge and had a long talk with a lame old man, a long retired engineer, and we talked about the bridge, that had a solid cast iron parapet. Is this a Handyside Bridge? I can't find a good photo, but I think this is the bridge at


    (so annoying you cant post hyperlinks in thse blogs)

  3. Hi Nigel, Yes The Britannia Ironworks were one of the leading suppliers of cast iron window frames at the time, started by Weatherhead and Glover but carried on by Handyside. Handysides 1873 catalogue shows a selection from their 1500 different designs. Their windows are all over the place including the workers cottages at Milford and as you say St Johns church also St James church at Shardlow (see my Handyside Flickr group for pics).

  4. As regards the "Derby to Melbourne and Ashby railway viaduct" its hard to say as they did not always put the Handyside badge on their bridges. Finding out such things is quite difficult.