Bridges On The Wear


Of all the north east's rivers the Wear is exceptional for the remarkable number of bridges replaced, rebuilt or reconstructed, mainly due to flood damage, and quite a number of bridges have disappeared altogether. The Wear is a long river and as for much of its length is fordable a great many fords have existed and some survive. Of the ferries, all have now gone, replaced by bridges in many cases.

Footbridges too, come and go or are replaced and the River Wear has quite a few. There are a number of disused railway bridges and some associated with colliery railways whicn no longer exist.

Shown above is a photograph of the old iron Jubilee Bridge near Willington photographed by Herbert Coates, and reproduced here by kind permission of the Old UK Photos website. Click Here

The two smaller pictures below are courtesy of Mr Peter Searle of The Sunderland Site website. Click Here

 Former Bridges

Sunderland, Wearmouth Bridge, - 1796, reconstructed 1857/59.

Sunderland, Hylton Briggstones, a dam or weir, Roman origin, demolished 19C.

Chester-le-Street, Chester New Bridge - possible earlier bridge existed here, 14C.

Chester-le-Street, Penny or Halfpenny Bridge, footbridge, 1898 - 1964.

Chester-le-Street, Old Lumley Road Bridge on B1284, 1914 - 1997, abutments still extant.

Kepier Woods near Durham, Miners' Footbridge, rope suspension bridge, 1915? - 1950s?.

Durham, a possible 2 Roman bridges existed; one near Kepier Hospital, the other 200 yards downstream.

Durham, footbridge, about 1574,wooden, near Prebends Bridge, replaced by stone footbridge in 1696, destroyed in 1771 floods.

Durham, Baths Footbridge, wooden, 1855, called Pelaw-Leazes Bridge and replaced by wrought iron footbridge in 1898 which existed until replaced in the 1960s by the present bridge.

Durham Elvet Railway bridge - 1893 to 1963, iron; gave access to Elvet Station. The brick abutments remain.

Shinclffe - 1200? to about 1400, replaced 1400 by another stone bridge, reconstructed 18C until demolition in 1826.

Houghall Colliery bridge, near Shincliffe. 1842 - 1880?.

Sunderland Bridge 13C; replaced by another in 15C.

Page Bank railway bridge 1853, converted to road bridge in 1947 until closure in 1967.

Jubilee Bridge 1887, near Willington, iron on stone abutments. Replaced 1990.

Pay Bridge, railway bridge, 1838 - 1900?.

Newfield Colliery railway bridge linked to Durham - Bishop Auckland railway at Hunwick station, 1840s to 1965, timber, stone abutments.Second bridge; upstream, Newfield Colliery tramway, 19C, timber; Third bridge; Newfield Colliery railway bridge, 20C, timber.

Escombe, Craggs suspension footbridge; 1895 -1940s;timber.

Witton railway bridge, timber, 1843.

Witton Park, footbridge at viaduct; date not known.

Witton Bridge; stone, 14C to 1771.

Witton-le-Wear, footbridge near railway station and west of Holme House ford; 19C to not known.

Witton Bridge; stone, 1770s to 1787.

Harperley footbridge about 1861; replaced in 20C by wooden bridge, itself replaced by a steel footbridge about 1974 until 1990.

Brown's bridge, timber railway bridge, Black Bank plantation, near Eels Beck. 1892? to not known.

Black bank Plantation footbridge near Bradley Beck; 1930s to 1960s.

Low Wiserley sawmill Bridge;east of Wolsingham; 1920s?.

Wolsingham Bridge; 1772 - 1894, replacing older bridge destroyed in 1771.

Holebeck Mill; 19C, possible wooden bridge.

Broadwood Bridge, Frosterley; 19C.

Kenneths Bridge, Frosterley; several bridges at this location, dates not known.

Fly railway bridge, Frosterley; wooden, 1870s 1920s.

Frosterley Bridge; stone, medieval? to 1771; and temporary wooden bridge replacement.

Gas Works bridge, Stanhope; iron, 1862 1881; and replacement wooden trestle bridge 1868 to 1958.

Stanhope East railway bridge; 1862 to 1881, and temporary replacement.

Stanhope Footbridge; called Unthank bridge, wooden 19C to early20C, replaced by wooden suspension bridge, of 1902 called Coronation Bridge; destroyed 1947.

Hag bridge, Eastgate; wooden, 19C to 1881; replaced by stone arch bridge about 1881.

Cambokeels Mine bridge; east of Brotherlee Footbridge; 19C to 1870s?

Brotherlee Footbridge; 1860s, wooden, destroyed 1881; replaced and again partially destroyed in 1995.

Haswicks Bridge, Westgate; wood not known to 1824; replaced by new brdge 1825 to 1842 (when partially damaged; swept away in 1852);

Britton bridge, Westgate; wooden trestle footbridge 1861? to not known.

Windyside, Daddry Shield; footbridge, date not known.

Daddry Shield Bridge; 1745, stone arch to 19C; replaced by iron bridge 1890 to 1990s.

East of Huntsfield, St John's Chapel, wood, date not known.

Huntsfield, St John's chapel; wooden, 19C to not known.

Ponderland, St John's Chapel; wooden, 1840 to 1881.

Broken way Footbridge, St John's Chapel; 19C? to not known.

Bridge End footbridge, Middle Blackdene, near St John's Chapel; wooden, 20C?.

Ireshopeburn Aquaduct; 19C, associated with crushing mill at Blackdene.
Sparks Farm Bridge, Wearhead; 1920s? to 1980s?.

Wearhead bridge; stone, 2 arches, 1768 to 1889; replaced by iron bridge to 1980s, flood damaged.

Killhope Burn; there were several minor footbridges on this tributary of the Wear.

 Former Fords and Ferries

Ferry - Monkwearmouth, Sand Point.

Ferry - Monkwearmouth, Strand Quay to Holmes Wharf/Custom House Quay.

Ferry -Bishops Ferry, Monkwearmouth.

Ferry - Panns Ferry, near Wearmouth Bridge.

Ferry - Southwick.

Ferry - Deptford.

Ferry - Hylton.

Ferry - Netherton, north of Offerton.

Ferry - Barmston Ferry, Cox Green.

Ferry - Cox Green, slightly upriver.

Ferry - Penshaw Staith, east of Fatfield.

Ferry and ford - Biddick Ferry, Chartershaugh, west of Fatfield.

Ford - Bruggeford, near Chester New Bridge.

Ford and ferry - Lumley, west of Lumley castle.

Stepping stones - downstream of Old Mill Ford.

Ford and stepping stones - Old Mill Ford, east of Plawsworth.

Ford - Cockenford.

Ford - Frankland Park Farm.

Ford - Crook Hall, Durham.

Ford and ferry - Prebends Bridge, Durham.

Ford - Low Butterby, downstream from Croxdale Bridge.

Ford - Spring Wood, upstream of Sunderland Bridge, west of Tudhoe.

Stepping stones, east of ford.

Ford and Ferry- just east of Page Bank Bridge.

Ford and ferry - Low Field, north of Byers Green.

Ford - near Jubilee Bridge.

Stepping stones and Ford - near Sunny Brow, north of former Newfield Colliery railway bridge.

Ford - Broken Bank, south east of Escomb.

Ford - Witton Ford, just downstream from Witton Park Viaduct.

Ford - Holme House, east of Witton-le-Wear.

Ford - Witton-le-Wear, near railway station and footbridge.

Ford - Garth Ford, west of Witton-le-Wear.

Ford - Bedburn Ford, at Bedburn Beck.

Ford- McNeil Ford, just north of Bedburn Beck.

Ford - near Carr Wood, group of 5 fords.

Ford - Spring Wood, south of Low Shipley.

Ford - south of Harperley station.

Ford - Bracken Hill, Harperley station.

Ford - Harperley, at site of footbridge.

Ford - at Black Bank Plantation.

Ford - just west of Wolsingham Bridge.

Ford - east of Holebeck Mill.

Ford - Holebeck Mill.

Ford - Green Bank, near West Newlands.

Ford - just east of railway bridge, Frosterley.

Ford and stepping stones - Frosterley, Kenneths Bridge.

Ford - Low Bat, west of Rogerley railway bridge.

Ford - Hall Ford, near Hag Bridge, Eastgate.

Ford - east of Westernhope Burn.

Ford - Brotherlee.

Ford and stepping stones - Shallow Ford, Britton Bridge, Westgate.

Ford - Windyside, between Westgate and Daddry Shield.

Stepping stones - Broken Way, St John's Chapel.

Ford - Bridge End Ford, Middle Blackdene, near St John's Chapel.

Ford - east of Ireshopeburn, at Coronation Bridge.

Stepping stones - Barrowtree Bridge.

Ford- west of Barrowtree Bridge, near quarry.

Ford - north of Killhopeburn Bridge, near High Byre.

Ford - northwest of Holy Well, near Killhope.

Ford - south of White Hall, near Killhope.

Ford - Far House, near Killhope.

© Bridges On The Tyne 2009