Framwellgate Bridge, Durham

Framwellgate Bridge, Durham

In the 12th century, Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham, built a bridge over the Wear River. It was a good bridge, with five or six arches. Yet it was swept away by a flood. A record of 1437 claims Ranulf's bridge "was broken by a flood during the Festival of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1400."

It wasn't all bad, as the Bishop of Durham and the Prior of Durham Cathedral split a tidy profit from a ferry service they ran until the new bridge appeared. The new bridge stands today and has two shallow arches visible instead of four or five. Each of the arches has reinforcing ribs.

The third arch, mentioned in records of the 16th century, perhaps surviving from Flambart's bridge, may be concealed by buildings at the end of the bridge. Both ends of the replacement bridge had fortified towers and gates at each end. The tower and gateway at the east end were demolished to improve the traffic in 1760.

In the 18th century, the bridge was widened on the upstream side. Today it is 27 feet wide, maximum. Five reinforcing ribs under the arches are from the 15th century, and two are from the 19th century.

Until 1969, with the building of the Milburngate Bridge, the Framwellgate Bridge was the main traffic thoroughfare eastward through old Durham. Today Framwellgate Bridge is pedestrianized.

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Framwellgate Bridge on Map

Sight Name: Framwellgate Bridge
Sight Location: Durham, England (See walking tours in Durham)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Durham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Durham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Durham Introduction Walking Tour

Durham Introduction Walking Tour

The monks from Lindisfarne were on the run in 995, the Vikings hot behind. The monks were carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert. The Saint's bier stopped. Along came a milkmaid who had lost her dun cow. The coffin moved and the monks followed the maid to a high hill by the River Wear. The bier stopped again and, despite the effort of the monks, would not move. The monks had found their place.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles