Chain suspension bridge over the river Tees,Â the world's second ever.
Period of construction:
1800 - 1849
Transport Trust plaque:
Bowlees Visitor Centre, Bowlees, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Co. Durham DL12 0XE
Low Force is a set of waterfalls in the Tees Valley, England. Further upstream is the High Force waterfall. Among the more interesting bridges on the Tees, Wynch (or Winch) bridge is a suspension footbridge which owed its existence originally to the Holwick lead miners who used it to get to the lead mine at Little Eggleshope in the fells to the north. It is situated at a pleasant spot near Low Force and spans a ravine overshadowed by trees.
The original bridge was suspended on hand-forged wrought iron chains, and reportedly had only a single handrail on one side as support. Built in the mid-18th century it collapsed in 1802 when a chain broke and a man was drowned. The repaired bridge was replaced in 1830 with another suspension bridge, financed by the Duke of Cleveland, its maintenance paid for by the miners' subscriptions. It hasÂ two spans and the chains are suspended over cast iron columns and the footway is of timber. It sways somewhat when someone crosses. The bridge was strengthened in 1992.
The bridge is much used by walkers and visitors to nearby Low Force. The Tees may be seen flowing swiftly through the rocky gorge under Winch Bridge and the Pennine way passes on the south side.Â
Heslop, B. H., The River Tees From Source To Sea, B. H., ASIN: B0026VHK5E (1893)
Cleveland & Teeside Local History Society, History of the River Tees in Maps, Cleveland & Teeside Local History Society, ISBN-10: 095071996X (2001)
Drewry, C.S., A Memoir of suspension Bridges: Comprising a History of their Origin,Â BiblioBazaar, ISBN -10 05547 25657 (2008)
Melan, Josef, Theory of Arches and Suspension Bridges (1913, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN-10: 1437437125 (2008)
Peters, Tom, Transitions in Engineering: Guillaume Henri Dufour and the Early 19th Century Cable Suspension Bridges, Birkhauser, ISBN-10: 3764319291 (1987)
Steinman, David, A Practical Treatise on Suspension Bridges: Their Design, Construction and Erection (1922), Kessinger Publishing, ISBN-10: 1436606446 (2008)
Steinman, David, Suspension Bridges and Cantilevers, BiblioBazaar, ISBN-10: 0559673132 (2008)Â
Accessible at all times.
How To Find:
By road: Off B6267 at Bowlees, west of Middleton in Teesdale, where thereÂ is a visitor centre.
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