Ladykirk and Norham Bridge

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Ladykirk and Norham Bridge
Berwickshire, Northumberland
Bridge over River Tweed at Norham - - 139198.jpg
The Ladykirk and Norham Bridge
Carrying: Road traffic (B6470)
Crossing: River Tweed
Grid reference: NT890472
Location: 55°43’8"N, 2°10’34"W
Material: Stone
Built 1885 – 1887

The Ladykirk and Norham Bridge connects Ladykirk in Berwickshire with Norham in Northumberland across the River Tweed.

Earlier bridges

The previous bridge here was a timber trestle built between 1838 and 1839 by J. Blackmore.[1][2] The bridge was funded by subscribers purchasing shares; David Robertson, 1st Baron Marjoribanks paid £3000, and ten others paid £500 each.[3]

This wooden bridge used curved ribs, eight planks deep at the ends and three planks deep in the middle, where each individual plank was 6 inches deep.[4] These were used to create two arches, each of 190-foot span and 17-foot rise. Each arch was supported by two trusses.[4] The planks were 18 feet long, and no piece of timber in the bridge was longer than 28 feet.[4] The roadway was 18 feet wide.[4] The entire bridge was restored in 1852, with the exception of the stone piers.[3]


Construction of the present stone bridge lasted from 1885 to 1887.[1] The bridge is listed at Grade II by English Heritage and at Category B by Historic Environment Scotland.[1][5]

The bridge was designed by Thomas Codrington and Cuthbert A. Brereton for the Tweed Bridges Trust.[5]


It is a late stone road arch bridge with four spans.[5] The two middle arches are of 90-foot span, and the outer two of 85-foot span, and the width of the roadway between the parapets is 14 feet.[5] The outer piers have triangular cutwaters, but the central pier has a curved cutwater that continues up to the height of the road, with a break in the parapet to create a refuge for pedestrians.[6]

The bridge uses dressed-stone for the arch rings, and has coursed-rubble spandrels and wing walls.[6] It is built from red sandstone, and faced with ashlar dressings.[1] The spandrels are hollow to reduce the load on the arches, an innovation by Thomas Telford.[1][7]

The bridge carries the B6470 public road between the villages of Ladykirk in Berwickshire and Norham in Northumberland.[1] It is just downstream of a river island in the Tweed.

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