"A manor of the Bishops of Durham who granted it a charter in 1508. Thereafter the market of lower Weardale with, in the C18, a number of industries mainly water-powered, including a small iron-making industry superseded in 1864 when Charles Attwood, an associate of Bessemer, set up the steelworks on the edge of the town. The old part still has its medieval street pattern and market-town character, with Victorian terraces and modern houses concentrated near the works."
The Buildings of England, County Durham. Nikolaus Pevsner. 1983.
Built by Durham County Council as a replacement for an old stone bridge of 1772. The previous bridge was built the year after the 1771 flood had destroyed an even older structure, replacing a bridge swept away in 1722. This may have been the even older 15C bridge. It lies at the western end of the town and leads to minor roads south of the river. The railway station lies just east of the bridge on the south side of the Wear.