DescriptionHistorically Important Sketch The River Tyne has been crossed by a bridge since Roman times, around AD 120 the Emperor Hadrian built Ponts Aelii, a timber structure supported on stone piers. This first bridge had been lost by the time of the Norman Conquest, but another timber bridge was erected before AD 1220 when it was reported to have gates at either end This bridge was destroyed by fire in 1248, and though repaired, destroyed again in 1256. In 1319 protection was granted for men & goods by the Warden of Works for repairs. It had to be repaired again in 1339 after part of it was washed away in a flood. In the year 1416 the first stone bridge was built, by a grant from the King, and Thomas Langley, Bishop of Durham - who claimed a third of the bridge (because it adjoined his land). Repairs were carried out in 1483, 1550, 1565,& 1577. Leland in his Itinerary for Henry VIII states that 'Tyne Bridge hath 10 arches and a strong Warde and Toure on it' and 'a gate at the Bridge Ende'; while Sir William Brereton, in his diary for 1635, recorded that the bridge has 8 arches. According to James Clepham there were originally 12 arches, but several at each end ha had been closed to the river and used as cellars. In 1646-9, Charles I gave timber from Chopwell (probably for the drawbridge section) as this part was timber until replaced by stone in 1770. Grey, in his Chorograph of Newcastle, written in 1649, states the bridge then had 3 towers - north, middle and south - and also an old chapel (this was dedicated to St.Thomas the Martyr), built in 1384 On Nov 17th 1771 a great flood swept away half of the bridge and eight houses built upon it, on the 18th another two arches were lost, along with four more houses, this was all the south end, that had been maintained by the Bishop's of Durham. The rest of the bridge was abandoned to the winter floods, but a temporary wooden bridge was erected in 4 months, that lasted into the 19thC. In April 1872 one of the original arches of the Medieval bridge at the Newcastle end still existed and it was measured at 44ft wide, had a span of 21ft, the crown being 7ft below the roadway and it was supported by 11 ashlar stone ribs.
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Further informationLink: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51368278@N08/49596870457/
Resource type: Image
Added by: Simon Cotterill
Last modified: 3 years, 8 months ago
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Picture Taken: 2020-02-28T17:24:03