Wylam Bridge

Now Grade II* listed, this grand span of the Tyne goes by many names - Hagg's Bank Bridge, Points Bridge and Half Moon Bridge amongst them. We'll just call it Wylam. It hoisted the colliery-serving Scotswood Newburn & Wylam Railway, known as the North Tyne Loop, over the water within whistling distance of its junction with the Newcastle & Carlisle.

The original plan was for a more conventional bridge, with three piers standing in the river to support four short sections. But this was opposed by the local coal companies who feared for the integrity of their shallow workings which were already suffering from flooding.

Instead an elegant single span, engineered by William George Laws (later the City Engineer for Newcastle) and comprising three wrought iron lattice girders, was slung across the river. From these, the twin-track decks were suspended, resting on transverse beams that were held by 15 drop bars.

Costing £16,000, the structure helped to push the boundaries of bridge building. Its ironwork was fashioned by Hawks Crawshay & Sons of Gateshead whilst Newcastle's W E Jackson & Co built the foundations and abutments. The first revenue-earning train crossed it on 6th October 1876.

Closure came on 11th March 1968 but the bridge was later bought and restored by Northumberland County Council. It was listed in 1985 and reopened as part of a footpath in 1997.

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