"Five miles below Reedsmouth is the quiet little village of Wark, .....once the capital of North Tynedale."
The Tyne And Its Tributaries. W J Palmer. 1882
The iron bridge was built by Hawks, Crawshay and Sons of Gateshead in 1878. The river is fairly wide at Wark and the bridge has seven piers with an island dividing the waters underneath. There was a bulge in the middle to allow traffic to pass but now there are bollards to enforce the width restriction of 6 foot six and a 3 ton weight restriction is imposed. Repairs were carried out in 1963 and agian in 2013-14. The bridge links the village with some small settlements, including Birtley, on the other side of the river, including Wark railway station at one time. Previously a toll bridge crossed the Tyne here, together with a ford.
The area has a turbulent history, once reflected in the existence of several castles nearby; at Haughton, Chipchase, Wark and Bellingham. Only the two first-mentioned still exist. Nearby Simonburn is an attractive and peaceful village with an interesting old church, St Mungo's, originally of the thirteenth century.