Wearmouth Bridge

Ranked #231 on the list Best Bridge of All Time

Based on 2 votes

About Wearmouth Bridge

  • Body Of Water Spanned: River Wear
  • Bridge Type: Compression arch suspended-deck bridge
  • Locale: Sunderland

The Wearmouth Bridge is a through arch bridge across the River Wear in Sunderland. It is the final bridge over the river before its mouth with the North Sea. The current bridge is the third Wearmouth Bridge in its position. The first opened in 1796, and then was reconstructed in the 19th century. The first Wearmouth Bridge opened in 1796, with the foundation stone having been laid in September 1793. It was sponsored by Rowland Burdon, the MP, and designed by Thomas Paine following a model for a bridge over the Schyulkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to the plaque on the current bridge, its construction "proved to be a catalyst for the growth of Sunderland," since access between Monkwearmouth and Bishopwearmouth had previously only been by ferry, with the nearest bridge at Chester-le-Street. There was originally a toll for traffic and pedestrians, although tolls for pedestrians were abolished in 1846. It was the second iron bridge built after the famous span at Ironbridge, but was over twice as long with a nominal span of 240 feet, and only three-quarters the weight. Indeed, at the time of building, it was the biggest single span bridge in the world (72 m),

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