Among surviving ancient stone arch bridges in the United Kingdom, this bridge
stands out as a particularly long example. It also is noted for its excellent
historic integrity especially considering its age. It remains open to one-way
Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings
Listed At: Grade I Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1041695 Monument List Entry
Reasons for Designation Multi span bridges are
structures of two or more arches supported on piers. They were
constructed throughout the medieval and early post-medieval period for
the use of pedestrians and packhorse or vehicular traffic, crossing
rivers or streams, often replacing or supplementing earlier fords.
During the early medieval period timber was used, but from the 12th
century stone (and later brick) bridges became more common, with the
piers sometimes supported by a timber raft. The bridge abutments and
revetting of the river banks also form part of the bridge. The roadway
was often originally cobbled or gravelled.
survives in excellent condition and is regarded as one of the finest
bridges in England. Beneath the current road surface archaeological
evidence of the bridges original surface will survive. The rest of the
structure of the bridge survives in good condition and will contain
evidence on the original construction and consequent maintenance of the
Details This record was the subject of a minor
enhancement on 11 May 2016. This record has been generated from an "old
county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were
not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of
our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a bridge
of 17th century date, spanning the River Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed and
linking Main Street with Bridge End. The bridge has fifteen arches with
cutwaters having columns and busts. The bridge is 355m long and 5m wide.
The arches increase in height at the northern end and stand up to a
maximum height of 14m. The construction of the bridge, also known as the
Old Bridge, commenced on 19th June 1611 and was virtually complete by
1625-1626, however, there are references to paving the bridge and
finishing in the parapet in 1626-27. The bridge succeeded several former
bridges, which were constructed from wood and date back to at least the
Test pit excavation in 2001 exposed the original
bridge structure surviving beneath road levelling deposits, some of
which are themselves pre-20th century. The bridge is a Grade I listed
building and is currently in use as a road bridge.