River Wear


NCN 1 and 7 pass close to, over or under these bridges

Wearmouth Road Bridge

Opened in 1928 to replace the Iron Bridge.
A 3-pinned arch bridge with two parabolic ribs
with masonry faced concrete abutments it has a span
of 375 ft. with a clearance of 90 ft. above high water.

Designed by Mott Hay and Anderson and
constructed by Sir Wm. Arrol and Co. Ltd.

The original cast iron bridge by Rowland Burdon
was erected in 1796 and later vastly modified by
Robert Stephenson in 1858 when it was widened and
the pronounced hump of the original removed.

While it survived it was the largest cast iron bridge
in the world. Parts of the balustrade on today's
bridge came from the original bridge.

Today's bridge carries five lanes of traffic with
foot / cycleways each side and recently was
extensively renovated and repainted.

NCN 7 passes under this bridge on the north bank
and NCN 1 over the bridge

Wearmouth Railway Bridge

Wrought Iron box girder bowstring bridge with two cross-braced ribs which are relieved by large oval stiffening webs.

It has a single span of 300 ft. and the deck
is 86 ft above high water.

Opened in 1879 it leads to a 1000 yard tunnel to Sunderland Station - still in use today.

NCN 7 (C2C) passes below this bridge on the north bank.

Rail bridge with road bridge behind

NCN 7 passes just to north of this bridge
on the north bank

Queen Alexandra Bridge

Built for the North Eastern Railway to allow coal trains to access Sunderland Docks without the need to reverse - opened in 1909 it carried an upper rail deck and a lower road deck.

The rail crossing was short lived and went out of use after 1921, it has a central span of 330 ft. at 85 ft. above high water with 3 - 200 ft. approach spans
2 on the north side and 1 on the south side.

The upper deck carries large water and gas mains and during WW2 acted as a platform for searchlights and anti-aircraft guns.

Hylton Bridge

A box girder bridge opened in 1974 and carries the A19(T) road over the River Wear.

NCN7 passes under the northern approach embankment.

NCN 7 passes under the northern
approach embankment at Fatfield

Victoria Bridge 1838

An impressive and dramatic railway viaduct spanning the River Wear on ten arches, near Fatfield. 
It was based on the Roman bridge at Alcantara, in Spain, and was opened in 1838 on the day of Queen Victoria's Coronation. 

The Durham Junction Railway built the Victoria Bridge across the River Wear in 1838.

The main arch has a span of 160 feet (about 48 metres) and is the largest masonry railway arch in England.

Today the railway it carries is moth balled waiting re-opening as a freight only line to relieve
the East Coast Main Line.

Click here for bridges over the
River Wear at Durham City

© Doug-on-the-Tyne - 2004