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Coldstream Bridge
Coldstream, Northumberland
Coldstream Bridge
associated engineer
John Smeaton
date  1763 - 1767
era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NT847401
ICE reference number  HEW 158
photo  E.M. Wimperis, after J.S. Smiles
This five-arch masonry bridge spans a stretch of the River Tweed which defines the border between England and Scotland. It was the first of John Smeaton's bridge designs to be executed.
Generally, Smeaton seems to have mistrusted bridge-building heroics, avoiding big aqueducts in his canal planning, and never progressing to bridgework in iron. Nonetheless, Coldstream is an impressive bridge, with each of its segmental arches spanning just over 60ft.
At the centre of each of the spandrels is an ornamental circle -- Smeaton's design signature, used on all four of his major bridges (the others being at Perth, Banff and Hexham; only Perth and Banff remain in their original form). These circles have moulded edges between four keystones, and are filled with black rubble masonry for visual contrast. Rubble starlings protected the piers in the original, and the spandrel walls were filled with earth and gravel.
In 1828, the spandrel walls had to be reconstructed under the consultation of Sir John Rennie. Longitudinal walls with enclosed voids were substituted and proved effective and long-lived; for his part, Smeaton did not repeat the use of loose-filled spandrels for any subsequent bridge.
In 1960, further repairs were undertaken at Coldstream. The rubble starlings were replaced with reinforced concrete, and concrete was also used to reinforce the internal walls of the arches. Cantilevered footways of the same material were added to both sides of the bridge to extend the original, 22ft wide roadway.
reference sources   CEH North
Location

Coldstream Bridge