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The Causey Arch is a bridge near Stanley in County Durham, northern England. It is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world, and a key element of the industrial heritage of England.
It was built in 1725–26 by stonemason Ralph Wood, funded by a conglomeration of coal-owners known as the "Grand Allies" (founded by Colonel Liddell and the Hon. Charles Montague) at a cost of £12,000. Two tracks crossed the Arch: one (the "main way") to take coal to the River Tyne, and the other (the "bye way") for returning the empty wagons. Over 900 horse-drawn wagons crossed the arch each day using the Tanfield Railway.
When the bridge was completed in 1726, it was the longest single-span bridge in the country with an arch span of 31 metres (102 ft), a record it held for thirty years until 1756 when a bridge was built in Pontypridd, Wales.
The Arch was restored and reinforced in the 1980s. There are a series of scenic public paths around the area and the Causey Burn which runs underneath it. The quarry near the bridge is a popular spot for local rock climbers.
- Skempton, A.W. (2002) Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Volume 1, 1500–1830, p 791–792. Published by Thomas Telford Ltd.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Causey Arch.|
- Waggonway Research Circle
- Causey Arch Picnic Area, a leaflet produced by Durham County Council
- Durham Mining Museum Archives
- Causey Arch at structurae