Keys to the Past

Union Chain Bridge (Horncliffe)

Union Chain Bridge. Photo by Northumberland County Council.
Union Chain Bridge. Photo by Northumberland County Council.

This suspension bridge over the River Tweed was built in 1819-20 by Captain S Brown of the Royal Navy. It is built from iron, and has a wooden roadway supported by chains. It was extensively repaired in 1872-3 and 1902. Originally, there was a tollhouse on the southern side. Tolls were abolished in 1883, and the house was demolished in 1955. A tollhouse on the north side still survives. This extremely important bridge was the first suspension bridge for vehicles to be built in Europe. Although Captain Brown built several other similar bridges, none of them survive. This is a Grade I listed building protected by law.

Reference number:N2408
Historical period: Post Medieval (1540 to 1901)
Legal status:Listed Building
Event(s):PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY, Historic Bridges in Northumberland 1992; P RYDER
FIELD SURVEY, Historic Bridges in Northumberland 1992; P RYDER
DESK BASED ASSESSMENT, Assessment of the Union Chain Bridge over the River Tweed 2017

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Horncliffe


Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.