Causey Arch
Bridge Stanley County Durham

Causey Arch

Bridge In Stanley, County Durham

Causey Arch is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world.

Causey Arch is situated in a peaceful woodland setting near Stanley. It is an impressive sight as you spot it through the trees.

The arch was built between 1725 and 1726 by stonemason Ralph Wood. It was funded by 3 men known as the 'Grand Allies' who were: Hon. Charles Montague, George Liddell, British coal owner and Whig politician and George Bowes, owner of Gibside.

Interestingly, Causey Arch lies on the Gibside estate, so there will be restrictions on the use of drones in the area.

The bridge, which is 105ft long and a massive 80ft high, would have had 2 wooden tracks running over it. Horse drawn carts used the 'Main Way' to carry coal to the River Tyne, and the 'Bye Way' was for returning empty wagons. There are no rail tracks on it now, but there is a footpath over it, which eventually takes you to Tanfield Railway.

The arch has a bit of a sad history behind it. Ralph Wood, the architect of Causey Arch had previously built a similar wooden arch at the site, which collapsed. He was so worried the same thing would happen to the stone arch, that he committed suicide by leaping from the top. If only he could have seen it today!

The arch still stands proudly after a bit of restoration work in the 1980s. It has been a grade I listed building since 1950.

There are a number of scenic footpaths around Causey Arch which take you along the Causey Burn and along Railway tracks. If you enjoy a bit of trainspotting, you might be lucky to catch sight of a steam train running along the tracks from Tanfield Railway.

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How To Find Causey Arch

Where Is Causey Arch?

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54.89756, -1.68775

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54.89967, 54.89967

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Causey Arch has it's own car park nearby.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

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Sandra Clemens

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