Berwick Bridge seen from the north bank
|Total length||355 metres (1,165 ft)|
|Width||5 metres (16 ft)|
|Number of spans||15|
|Daily traffic||Single carriageway|
Berwick Bridge, also known as the Old Bridge, spans the River Tweed in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England. The current structure is a Grade I listed stone bridge built between 1611 and 1624. Four previous bridges stood on the site, with two destroyed by flooding (in 1199, the original, and in 1294, the third), one by an English attack in 1216 and the last, built 1376, served until James I of England ordered the construction of the present bridge. It was then on the main road from Edinburgh to London, and the king (who was also James VI of Scotland) had had to cross over the then dilapidated wooden bridge in 1603 while travelling to London for his coronation.
The bridge is 355 metres (1,165 ft) long and 5 metres (16 ft) wide. The main material is sandstone from Tweedmouth. There are 15 arches (although originally only 13 had been planned) with Doric columns. The bridge's engineer, James Burrell, had to contend with flooding in 1621 when the bridge was almost complete, and that set back completion by several years. The cost of construction was apparently £15,000.
The bridge became less important for road traffic as the main route moved westwards, first to the concrete Royal Tweed Bridge built in the 1920s, and then in the 1980s a bypass took the A1 road out of Berwick altogether. The bridge is now one way, from east to west (i.e. from Berwick towards Tweedmouth). The one-way plan is likely to be permanent and has met with little resistance from local businesses, indeed the quieter nature of Bridge Street has presented businesses with the opportunity to close the street on particular Sundays and host fayres offering local produce, goods etc.
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|Next crossing upstream||River Tweed||Next crossing downstream|
|Royal Tweed Bridge||Berwick Bridge
Grid reference: NT995526