Kingsgate Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kingsgate Bridge
Dunelm House & Kingsgate Bridge.jpg
Kingsgate bridge in front of Dunelm House
Coordinates54°46′23″N 1°34′21″W / 54.7731°N 1.5726°W / 54.7731; -1.5726
OS grid referenceNZ275421
CrossesRiver Wear
LocaleCo. Durham
OwnerDurham University
Heritage statusGrade I listed
Preceded byElvet Bridge
Followed byPrebends Bridge
MaterialReinforced concrete
Longest span106.7 m (350 ft)
ArchitectOve Arup
DesignerOve Arup
Engineering design byOve Arup & Partners
Construction end1963
Kingsgate Bridge is located in County Durham
Kingsgate Bridge
Kingsgate Bridge
Location in County Durham

Kingsgate Bridge is a striking, modern reinforced concrete construction footbridge across the River Wear, in Durham, England. It is a Grade I listed building.[1] It was personally designed in 1963 by Ove Arup,[1] the last structure he ever designed.[2] Kingsgate Bridge connects Bow Lane on the historic peninsula in the centre of Durham to Dunelm House on New Elvet (to which building Arup's studio also contributed), and opened in 1966. Kingsgate Bridge is thought to have been one of Arup's favourite designs of all, he having spent many hours working on every detail of the plans.[3]

Its construction was unusual. The two halves were each built parallel to the river, then rotated through 90° to make the crossing.[4] The meeting point of the two halves is marked by a simple bronze expansion joint using a linear gear bearing.[5][6]

In 1965, the bridge was the winner of the Civic Trust Award.[7]

In 1993, it won Certificate of Outstanding Performance (Mature Structures Category) of the Concrete Society.[8]

A bust of Arup, cast in resin, was installed on the side of Dunelm House, the students' union building adjacent to the bridge, in September 2011. The sculpture is a copy of a 1987 bust by Diana Brandenburger, held by the National Portrait Gallery.[9][10] It is a replacement for a previous copy of the same bust, in bronze, which was unveiled by Karin Perry, Arup's daughter, on 16 April 2003, the 108th anniversary of Arup's birth, but which was stolen from its plinth during the summer of 2006.[11]

During a university RAG Week in the late 1960s students suspended a car beneath the bridge.[12]

In February 1998, the Durham Union Society president, Tom Joyce, fell through the bridge, but caught himself and was uninjured.[13]



  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1119766)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 June 2006.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Plaque Commemorates Birth Place of Sir Ove Arup - Engineer and Philosopher". Arup. 15 June 2000. Archived from the original on 22 April 2004.
  4. ^ Rennsion, Robert William; Barbey, M.F. (1996). Civil engineering heritage. Thomas Telford. ISBN 978-0-7277-2518-9.
  5. ^ "Kingsgate bridge". Arup. Archived from the original on 21 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Durham Bridges: 1. Kingsgate Bridge". The Happy Pontist. 28 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Sir Ove Arup and Durham". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Kingsgate Bridge: Work Suspended". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  9. ^ "World-renowned engineer Sir Ove Arup honoured with unveiling of new bust". Durham University. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014.
  10. ^ NPG 5968; Sir Ove Arup
  11. ^ Statue thieves Arup to no good, The Northern Echo, 6 November 2006
  12. ^ "Image of car suspended beneath the bridge". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011.
  13. ^ Minutes Archived 18 July 2007 at of the meeting of DSU Council held 18 February 1998

Next bridge upstream River Wear Next bridge downstream
Elvet Bridge Kingsgate Bridge Prebends Bridge