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Tyne and Wear HER(4978): Sunderland, Wearmouth Bridge - Details

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Wearmouth Bridge



Sunderland, Wearmouth Bridge




Road Transport Site

Road Bridge

Early Modern



An iron bridge built across the Wear in 1796 was at the time the largest iron bridge in the world. It was promoted and designed by Roland Burdon, MP for County Durham, who was involved in the development of the Sunderland to Stockton turnpike road. The building of the new Wearmouth Bridge, a three pinned steel arch bridge, created a modern facility for the movement of traffic, but with the removal of the old cast iron bridge, Wearside lost not only one of its most majestic structures but also a monument to engineering ingenuity. The new bridge was designed by Mott Hay and Anderson, constructed by Sir Wm. Arrol & Co Ltd. and opened in 1929. A plaque on upstream balustrade at south approach tells how this bridge replaced the famous cast iron bridge erected 1796, vastly modified by Robert Stephenson in 1858 and finally demolished in 1929. While it survived it was the largest cast iron span at 236 feet (71.9 metres). There is an interesting flight of steps down to river level on north-east side. LISTED GRADE 2




<< HER 4978 >> I. Ayris, The River Wear Trail Board Ten - The Bridges; I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 21; Tyne and Wear Industrial Monuments Trust, 1978, Sites of interest in River Wear plan area; G. Lancaster Groves, 1929, The New Wearmouth Bridge, Sunderland, Minutes of Proceedings of Institite of Civil Engineers, Session 1929; Sunderland City Council, 2019, The Wearmouth Bridge Heritage Statement

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