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Morpeth Bridge
River Wansbeck, Morpeth, Northumberland, UK
Morpeth Bridge
associated engineer
Thomas Telford
date  1829 - 1831
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NZ199858
ICE reference number  HEW 332
photo  Jane Joyce
A three-span, stone bridge over the River Wansbeck. It was built as part of Telford's grand scheme to improve the road from London to Edinburgh, most of which he never saw to fruition.
Morpeth Bridge is notable for the form of its arches, which are flatter at the voussoirs than in the centre of the arch, creating a funnel from pier to peak in a style known as cornes-des-vaches. Telford used this type of arch for his single-span Over Bridge at Gloucester, completed three years earlier, where he based his design on Perronet's five-span bridge across the River Seine at Neuilly in France, built in 1774.
At Morpeth, the centre arch spans 50ft and the flanking arches, 40ft each. The abutments and piers contain bearing piles sunk through the poor surface material of the banks and river bed to harder ground beneath.
A solid parapet enhances the clean line of the bridge, and decoration is in the form of flattened relief columns above the jutting piers. Part of an earlier bridge remains close by, and has been adapted for foot traffic only.
Supervising Engineer: John Cargill
Construction: Thomas King and William Beldon
reference sources   CEH NorthBDCE1

Morpeth Bridge