The bridge is named after a condition of ironstone miners' eyes, from the redness caused by rubbing them with ore-stained hands. The Cherry Eye ironstone quarry site was near to this bridge.
The unusual shape of the bridge is thought to have been done for aesthetic reasons, to placate the local landowner when the canal was built.
In 2009 a painting of the bridge by local artist Mike Fisher was produced for the Caldon & Uttoxeter Canals Trust, showing how the bridge might have looked around the start of the 20th Century. It shows how the long pulling ropes would rub into the wall of the bridge and today you can still see the wooden protectors with the grooves worn in them.