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Structure Details
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Structure Name: Berwick Bridge

Description:
 
15-arched bridge spanning c.350m across the River Tweed, and over 5m wide. The arches are separated by triangular cutwaters.

'A beautiful red sandstone bridge, (the stone from a Tweedmouth quarry), originally to have 13 arches but in fact it has 15 segmental arches, the pointed cutwaters (many with Doric columns) being taken up to form refuges for very narrow footways. It is 354.8 metres long and 14 metres high at its highest point near the north shore. The largest span, the penultimate on the Berwick side, is 22.9 metres, the deck falling gradually towards the Tweedmouth side. The width between the parapets is 5.2 metres. Huge oak starlings surround each pier foot, the piles and starlings cut from 823 Chopwell trees, shipped from Newcastle. The aprons around each starling, of long, narrow stones, are presumably more recent, and some concrete and sheet steel piling more recent again. It stands in tidal waters.'
[Stafford Linsley's annotation]
 

Extant: Yes

Legal Status: Listed Building Grade I

Location: Berwick-upon-Tweed, NORTHUMBERLAND

Eastings: 399660m (view map)

Northings: 652760m (view map)

Position Accuracy: 200m

Positional Confidence: Absolute Certainty

Structure Types Identified: ARCH BRIDGE, ROAD BRIDGE

Historical Background
 
Berwick Bridge was constructed in the 17th century to carry the main London-Edinburgh road over the Tweed, and served this purpose until 1928, when the larger Royal Tweed Bridge was built.

'Begun in 1611, at the suggestion of its surveyor/designer, James Burrell, (fl. 1604-1631), and completed September 1621, except for parapets and paving, when a flood in October of that year destroyed some recently completed masonry work and the centring still under some of the arches. A further grant of £3,000 was awarded to complete the work, and it was more or less finished in 1624 at a total cost of £18,000, although the accounts were not closed until 1634. The chief mason was Lancelot Branxton (or Bramston).

According to Fuller in his book on Berwick (1799), the sixth pier from the Berwick side marked the boundary between Berwick and the County Palatine of Durham, and the refuges over it had higher parapets which were capped with sods, to indicate both to felons and constables just where the judicial boundary was.'
[Stafford Linsley's annotation]
 

Chronology:

  • 1611 - 1634   Construction of bridge.
        Entities Involved:
              Burrell, James: Engineer.
              Branxton, Lancelot: Chief mason.

Notes:

  • Additional information about the structure type ARCH BRIDGE is available.
  • Additional information about the structure type ROAD BRIDGE is available.

References:

The information displayed in this page has been derived from authoritative sources, including any referenced above. Although substantial efforts were made to verify this information, the SINE project cannot guarantee its correctness or completeness.

 


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Last Modified 26 March 2004
2002 SINE Project, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
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