Tyne and Wear HER(12016): Gateshead, The Bridges Conservation Area - Details
Gateshead, The Bridges Conservation Area
Designated on 26th April 1991 and extended on 5th August 1994. Comprises the Tyne riverbank and gorge slopes, the High Level Bridge (HER 4132), Swing Bridge (HER 1003) and Tyne Bridge (HER 1581). It is now a little-frequented area although carrying major through-routes and remnants of heavy industry and commercial development from its C19 heyday. The squalid C19 housing was cleared after a major explosion in 1854. The High Level Bridge opened in 1849, leaving the riverside to stagnate. Mid Victorian commercial development focused near the station (HER 4374) and Greenesfield Railway Works (HER 3488). On the newly laid out Swinburne Street and behind High Street an imposing but disparate group of new municipal government buildings were built (HER 8316, 8291, 8275, 8315, 8274, 8311). The area at the top of the gorge slopes is now largely characterised by derelict or under-used buildings due to the unsuitability of access routes and constricted sites. The slope above Pipewellgate is now attractive informal parkland. St. Mary's Church (HER 284), now a heritage centre, is the original parish church. The most important streets are Oakwellgate, Bottle Bank, Church Street, Mirk Lane and Bankwell Lane. The mid C19 stone railway viaducts are never out of sight. There are exuberantly designed public houses and shops in Half Moon Lane and Wellington Street.
Gateshead Council, 1999, Conservation Area Policy Guidelines, Strategies and Character Statements, The Bridges Conservation Area