Swing Bridge

A bridge over the river Tyne connecting Newcastle and Gateshead. Hydraulic power enables the bridge to swing open to allow large ships to pass by on the river.

Fun facts

  1. It was opened on the 15 June 1876.
  2. In 1876, the Swing Bridge cost over £240,000 to make, which is about £30 million in today’s money.
  3. It is the second oldest bridge that currently links Newcastle and Gateshead. The oldest is the High Level Bridge.
  4. It is controlled by hydraulics (water-powered). This means that the bridge is powered by motors to allow the bridge to move.
  5. The fact that the bridge could ‘swing’ open (instead of lift open), meant that large ships could sail upriver for the very first time.
  6. It is located between the Tyne Bridge and High Level Bridge across the River Tyne.
  7. The Swing Bridge allows pedestrians and cars to cross over the River Tyne.
  8. It has a length of 171 metres.
  9. Construction on the Swing Bridge was started in 1873.
  10. It was first swung open for a ship to pass through on 17th July 1876.

Then and now

Photograph of Swing Bridge
Photograph of Swing Bridge
Illustration of the different bridges that have crossed the River Tyne
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Find more images of the Swing Bridge on the Co-Curate website.

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