"Bishop Auckland .... sprang up during the reign of William Rufus around the country home of the bishops of Durham.
The town has an ancient bridge of the Wear and a pleasant market place leading directly into the palace grounds that stand on a steep wooded bluff above the river."
The Companion Guide to Northumbria. Edward Grierson. 1976
One of oldest bridges on the Wear and Grade 1 listed, it was reputedly built for Bishop Skirlaw of Durham whose official residence was at nearby Auckland Castle. Probably rebuilt at various times, footpaths were added in 1900 on cantilevered girders. These were removed in 2002 being replaced by a single footpath. The bridge was once on the A689 until the nearby railway viaduct was converted to road use.
Bishop Auckland is a former mining and manufacturing town. The Bishop's Palace, and the Market Place are of interest and the Town Hall is Grade 2 listed. Stan Laurel was a one-time resident as a child. Railways also played a big part in the town's development but these have been severely cut back and the station is now at the end of a branch line from Darlington, although services from here up the Wear valley to Stanhope have recently been re-introduced on the Weardale railway.