It was built in 1725–26 by stonemason Ralph Wood, funded by a conglomeration of coal-owners known as the "Grand Allies" (founded by Colonel Liddell and the Hon. Charles Montague) at a cost of £12,000. Two tracks crossed the Arch: one (the "main way") to take coal to the River Tyne, and the other (the "bye way") for returning the empty wagons. Over 900 horse-drawn wagons crossed the arch each day using the Tanfield Railway.
When the bridge was completed in 1726, it was the longest single-span bridge in the country with an arch span of 102 feet, a record it held for thirty years until 1756 when a bridge was built in Pontypridd, Glamorgan.
An inscription on a sundial at the site reads "Ra. Wood, mason, 1727".
Use of the Arch declined when Tanfield Colliery was destroyed by fire in 1739.
The Arch was restored and reinforced in the 1980s. There are a series of scenic public paths around the area and the Causey Burn which runs underneath it. The quarry near the bridge is a popular spot for local rock climbers.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Causey Arch)
- Location map: 54.897389 -1.687806
- Waggonway Research Circle
- Causey Arch Picnic Area, a leaflet produced by Durham County Council
- Durham Mining Museum Archives
- Causey Arch at structurae
- Skempton, A.W. (2002) Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Volume 1, 1500–1830, p 791–792. Published by Thomas Telford Ltd.