Bridges On The Tyne


There are several books about the River Tyne and some of them mention its bridges but none of them cover every bridge on the river, and I believe this is the first time anyone has tried to give a comphrehensive account of the river and all its bridges, fords, ferries and tunnels. In compiling this website I have consulted many books, maps, libraries, information centres, county record's offices and visited every bridge and walked many miles along river banks photographing and taking notes about the bridges. All colour photographs are mine except where otherwise stated. The photograph shows the Swing Bridge from Bottle Bank in the 1960s.

A list of the publications I have found most helpful in compiling the website is shown below.


The Tyne And Its Tributaries. - W J Palmer. 1882

This book is a must for anyone seeking to learn about the River Tyne. Written at a time when the rural areas were more rural and the industrial parts more industrialised, the book is a personal journey and interpretation of the entire river, its towns and villages, flora and fauna and industry - and its people and their history. Illustrated with engravings drawn by the author.

Waters Of Tyne - A River Journey Through History. - T H Rowland. 1991

This is another excellent publication which covers the whole of the Tyne, and includes the Derwent as a bonus and is illustrated throughout. It has a comphrehensive reading list on a variety of subjects associated with Northumberland, Durham and Tyneside.

The River Tyne - From Sea To Source. - Ron Thornton. 2002

A volume of paintings and sketches with accompanying text which explores the past and present of the river. The book is beautifully ilustrated by the author and includes many of the bridges as well as some wonderful paintings of ships in the Tyne.

Crossing The Tyne. - Frank Manders and Richard Potts. 2001

This book by two prominent local historians covers all the various means of crossing the Tyne, both past and present, between the river mouth and its tidal limit. It is a very interesting work and includes the history, building and statistics of each crossing. Ferries and tunnels are detailed and technical specifications of existing crossings are recorded. The old photographs are a major asset and a gallery of contemporay photographs are included, as is a list of sources used in its compilation.

The Companion Guide To Northumbria. - Edward Grierson. 1976

This book from the 'Companion' series covers most of the areas through which the Tyne flows and has much historical background and useful information for the traveller.

Walking The Tyne. - J B Jonas. 2002

A useful little book of 25 walks from the river mouth to the source of the South Tyne, (there is also one for the North Tyne) which helps locate the more obscure and isolated bridges and with much practical information for the riverbank explorer.

Walking The North Tyne - J B Jonas. 2005

A companion volume to Walking The Tyne, covering Hexham to the source of the North Tyne.

The Border Line - James Logan Mack. 1924

A book about the border itself and its history and geography. Illustrated.


The Tyne. - David Bean. 2003

A guide to the whole river detailing some of the changes over the years and with historical anecdotes, personal impressions and some excellent photographs, bridges included.

The Buildings Of England - Northumberland. -
Nikolaus Pevsner and Ian Richmond. 1992

This updated volume in the highly-regarded series gives much information on some of the bridges in its coverage of buildings of interest and importance in Northumberland. See also the volume for Cumbria. 1967

Tyne Waters - A River And Its Salmon. -Michael Marshall. 1992

This 'story of a great salmon river' has lots about angling but with much information on other aspects of the river. Interesting photographs.

Tyne and Tide - A Celebration Of The River Tyne. -David Archer. 2003

Geography, history, science and engineering, plus the industrial history, sport, music of, and crossing of the Tyne. A book crammed with information, statistics, drawings, charts, photographs and yet full of interest for the general reader. Another must in understanding the river in all its aspects.

British Bridges -An Illustrated Technical and Historical Record. - C Bressey. 1933

Written by the then Chief Engineer, Roads Department, Ministry Of Transport, it covers the craft of bridge building in Britain and describes and illustrates the various types of bridges with photographs.

Bob's Bridges. -Robert Robson. 1998

A series of personal reminisences from a foreman bridge repairer and builder employed by Northumberland County Council covering all the rivers of the county and packed with interesting facts and photographs from his long and successful career.

also consulted were:

Bridges. - Ed. Sir Hugh Casson. 1963.
The Bridges Of Northumberland And Durham. - Frank Graham. 1975
Rural Branch Lines Of Northumberland. - C R Warn. 1975
The Work Of The Bridge Builders. - J Gordon Peirson. 1948
North East Branch Lines Since 1925. - K Hoole. 1948.
Roads And Rails Of Tyne And Wear. - J Joyce. 1985
The North British Railway In Northumberland. - G W M Sewell. 1991
Bridges Explained. - Trevor Yorke. 2008
Various editions of the Ordnance Survey for Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria.
County Records Offices for Northumberland and Cumbria; Tyne and Wear Archives; Public libraries in Newcastle, Gateshead, South Shields, Alston, Carlisle, and Hexham; The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne; the East Cumbria Countryside Project; and various individuals from all of the afore-mentioned and also Mr Alistair Robertson, Mr W H Blakey and Mr Tom Lee. And a special thanks to Helishoot aerial videography for the Plessey Viaduct picture.

© Bridges On The Tyne 2006