Monkwearmouth Bridges
Bridge Sunderland Tyne And Wear

Monkwearmouth Bridges

Bridge In Sunderland, Tyne And Wear

A single-span, through arch road bridge, built in 1928-29 by Sir William Arrol and Company Ltd., and designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, and a bowstring arch railway bridge built in 1879.

Tyneside is known worldwide for its bridges but Wearside also has its share of interesting and historic river crossings. The Wearmouth Road Bridge spans the River Wear in Sunderland, and carries the A183 road between Chester-le-Street and South Shields.

A single-span, through arch bridge, with a steel arch rising to a height of 100 feet (30 m), it was built in 1928-29 by Sir William Arrol and Company Ltd at their Dalmarnock Ironworks in Glasgow, and designed by Mott, Hay and Anderson, who also designed Trent Bridge in Nottingham and the Dartford Tunnel.

The bridge was built to replace an earlier bridge that was started in 1793 and completed in 1796. The original Wearmouth Bridge was actually the second bridge in the world to be made from cast iron after Ironbridge and was built to a design by Thomas Wilson although there is some evidence that the design was influenced by a cast iron span of similar length created as a demonstration by Thomas Paine in Paddington. Paine also submitted some models and designs for the Wearmouth Bridge. Thomas Paine later went on to be one of the founding fathers of the USA!

Between 1857 and 1859 the original bridge was repaired by local legend Robert Stephenson before being demolished in 1927. As the old bridge was a toll bridge, its demolition was welcomed by local residents and the new bridge was toll free, quickly becoming an important traffic artery in Sunderland. The new Wearmouth Bridge was opened on 31st October 1929 by the Duke of York who would go on to become King George VI, and cost £231,943 to build.

The Monkwearmouth Railway Bridge sits next to the Wearmouth Road Bridge and is of Bowstring Arch construction, where the base of the arch is tied to the deck. The Through Arch construction of the Wearmouth Bridge has the arch passing through the deck. The Monkwearmouth Railway Bridge was designed by T. E. Harrison and opened in 1879, it sits 86 feet (26m) above high water level and has three 25 feet (7.6m) wide stone arches supporting either end.

Both bridges are Grade II listed buildings, and considered to be important examples of late 19th and early 20th century engineering.

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How To Find Monkwearmouth Bridges

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54.909511, -1.382851

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54.90881, 54.90881

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There is a car park adjacent to the bridge on Cumberland Street, St Mary's car park.

Contributed by Andrew Gardner

I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.

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Andrew Gardner

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Monkwearmouth Bridges was listed in Bridge // Tyne And Wear // Sunderland