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Royal Tweed Bridge

A Grade II* Listed Building in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7685 / 55°46'6"N

Longitude: -2.0091 / 2°0'32"W

OS Eastings: 399525

OS Northings: 652796

OS Grid: NT995527

Mapcode National: GBR G1DQ.TZ

Mapcode Global: WH9YK.38JM

Plus Code: 9C7VQX9R+C9

Entry Name: Royal Tweed Bridge

Listing Date: 8 December 2009

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393563

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506585

Location: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Berwick-upon-Tweed

Built-Up Area: Berwick-upon-Tweed

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Tweedmouth St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Tagged with: Deck arch bridge

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Berwick-Upon-Tweed

Description


BERWICK UPON TWEED

622/0/10105 ROYAL TWEED BRIDGE
08-DEC-09 ROYAL TWEED BRIDGE

GV II*
Arched road bridge, 1925-28, by L G Mouchel and Partners; the consulting engineers were Colonel C H Bressey and Mr J H Bean; the contractors were Holloway Brothers.

MATERIALS: reinforced concrete and dressed sandstone

DESCRIPTION: Royal Tweed Bridge is 430m long and almost 14m wide and has four arches, three of which are over the river and two approach viaducts.The span of the arches increase towards the north bank and are 50.1m, 74.4m, 95.5m and 108.5m. The two approach viaducts are 60m and 44m. Each of the four arches is formed by four ribs, solid throughout the shortest span and the others are solid at the crowns and of hollow section from their springing. The bridge's superstructure is formed of columns rising at intervals from each of four arch ribs in each span, connected at the top by longitudinal beams which in turn support transverse beams; the road deck is carried upon the latter. A system of diagonal wind bracing is provided at each pier and expansion joints are provided in the decking and parapets over each pier. Abutments and river pier foundations are of mass concrete and there are two river piers on the north and a third pier on the south bank in addition to a south and north abutment pier.The parapet is of dressed sandstone and there are rectangular pillars with pyramidal coping stones either side of the entries to the bridge. Sets of cast iron lamp posts flank the central roadway with bollards inbetween. There are bronze plaques fixed to either side of the inner parapet bearing the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom and the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom as used in Scotland, in addition to plaques commemorating the opening of the bridge in 1928 and the engineers and officials responsible for its construction.

HISTORY:Royal Tweed Bridge was designed by L G Mouchel & Partners and built by Holloway Bros Ltd between 1924 and 1928. The bridge cost a total of £180,000 and up to 170 people were employed in its construction. As early as 1896 a new road bridge had been planned for the site to carry the A1 road from London to Edinburgh across the River Tweed, as a means of diverting traffic from the adjacent C17 Old Bridge. A scheme had been produced in 1914 but the outbreak of the First World War intervened and plans were not revived until 1924. At this time a seven arched masonry bridge was planned but subsequently a concrete structure of four arches was decided upon. When built, the bridge possessed the longest reinforced concrete arch in Britain and was also the country's longest highway viaduct.

The bridge was opened with great ceremony by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII on 16th May 1928. The bridge continued to form part of the A1 road until the construction of a bypass and bridge west of Berwick in the 1980s, since when The Royal Tweed Bridge's importance as a river crossing has been reduced.

Louis Gustave Mouchel (1852-1908) is known as the person who introduced `ferro-concrete' to Britain, one of the influential and far reaching inventions to shape C20 civil engineering. The technique involved strengthening the concrete with iron or steel, a process patented by his colleague Francois Hennebique but was further developed through his own business in the UK. The firm L G Mouchel and Partners were notable bridge and concrete engineers responsible or contributors to a number of important schemes, many of which are listed buildings including three Grade II listed bridges: The Free Bridge, Shropshire (1910), Reigate Hill Footbridge (1910) and Horseshoe Bridge, Lincolnshire (1910-12).

The bridge was built by Holloway Brothers established in 1882, whose notable contracts included the naval barracks at Chatham (Grade II), Admiralty Building (Grade I) and the Old Bailey (Grade II*). From 1906, the firm took on civil engineering contracts including docks, railway buildings and sea defences and its first major bridge building contract was in 1914. A branch office was opened in Newcastle in 1917 to handle the growing North East business. After the death of its highly respected co-founder Sir Henry Holloway, in 1923, his nephew Henry Thomas Holloway became director of the company and expanded the civil engineering side of the business.

SOURCES:
M. Chrimes, 'The development of concrete bridges in the British Isles prior to 1940' in M. Chrimes, R. Sutherland and D. Humm (eds.), Historic Concrete: background to appraisal (2001)
Engineering, v.125 (4 & 18 May 1828), pp. 527-9, 542, 542 & plates 48-50
The Engineer, v. 145 (18 May 1928), pp. 542-3
W. Hamley, `Berwick's fifty-year old Royal Tweed Bridge, Concrete, (January 1979), pp. 20-21
A R Collins, Structural Engineering: two centuries of British achievement, Institution of Structural Engineers (Great Britain) 1983, 94
N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northumberland, 2nd edition (1992) 180

Royal Tweed Bridge is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* this bridge was at the cutting edge of concrete bridge construction and when built it possessed the longest reinforced concrete arch in Britain and was also the country's longest highway viaduct.
* it is striking in scale and design, formal qualities which are complimented by quality materials and finishing
* it is an intact bridge designed by the eminent engineering firm L G Mouchel and Partners, responsible for the introduction of `ferro concrete' in Britain
* its association with the successful and respected building firm Holloway Brothers, specialist builders in reinforced concrete.
* Royal Tweed Bridge has group value as a component of a group of three bridges spanning the River Tweed: C17 Berwick Bridge (Listed Grade I and a scheduled monument) and The Royal Border Bridge of 1848 (listed Grade I).
* it offered a bold engineering solution to this river crossing and the expansion of the 1920s road network



Reasons for Listing


Royal Tweed Bridge is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* this bridge was at the cutting edge of concrete bridge construction and when built it possessed the longest reinforced concrete arch in Britain and was also the country's longest highway viaduct.
* it is striking in scale and design, formal qualities which are complimented by quality materials and finishing
* it is an intact bridge designed by the eminent engineering firm L G Mouchel and Partners, responsible for the introduction of `ferro concrete' in Britain
* its association with the successful and respected building firm Holloway Brothers, specialist builders in reinforced concrete.
* Royal Tweed Bridge has group value as a component of a group of three bridges spanning the River Tweed: C17 Berwick Bridge (Listed Grade I and a scheduled monument) and The Royal Border Bridge of 1848 (listed Grade I).
* it offered a bold engineering solution to this river crossing as part of the 1920s expansion of the road network

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