RENOWNED Victorian engineer Thomas Brassey claimed another honour 137 years after his death in a ceremony in Saughall Massie on Saturday morning.

English Heritage has awarded the Saughall Massie Bridge that leads into the conservation area, a Grade II Listed status - and a special plaque commemorating the event was unveiled at the weekend The bridge is the first constructed by the pre-eminent Victorian civil engineering contractor.

In their award documents to the Saughall Massie Village Conservation Area Society, it stated: "As the starting point for Thomas Brassey's illustrious career, Saughall Massie Bridge is of significant national importance and therefore merits listing."

Wirral Mayor Cllr Peter Johnson revealed the Thomas Brassey plaque while the village's oldest resident, Mrs Mary Robinson, unveiled a new interpretation panel.

By 1848, Brassey, once a Claughton resident, had built three quarters of the French railway system.

His earliest contracts were on Merseyside, notably supplying bricks for the Customs House in Liverpool and the building of the New Chester Road, from Tranmere to Bromborough.

It was Victorian Railway engineer, George Stephenson that suggested Brassey should attempt railway building.

His first job was the Penkridge viaduct that still stands today.

At the peak of his success he had built thousands of miles of railways in nine other European countries as well as India, Australia, Mauritius, Canada and South America. Birkenhead-based, Brassey was awarded the Legion of Honour by France, Order of St Maurice & St Lazarus from Italy and helped open up the continents. Such honours befit a man termed as "One of the great unsung heroes of the railway age".