The first Wearmouth Bridge is a Sunderland icon, commonly used to illustrate local pottery. When it opened in 1796, only the second iron bridge of any size in the world, and to an original design, it caused a sensation.
The current bridge is the third on that site. Its predecessor was a rebuilding by Robert Stephenson in 1859 of the original 1796 bridge.
Here, our new account of the first Wearmouth Bridge contains previously unpublished information from letters from its main promoter, Rowland Burdon MP. We also investigate how the bridge was designed, and which claimant deserves most credit.
For the story of the world's first iron bridge, at Coalbrookdale, see here.
Content generated during research for two paperback books 'Sunderland and its Origins: Monks to Mariners' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774799) and 'Sunderland: Building a City' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-547-5 ) for the England's Past for Everyone series