Closure date for Berwick Old Bridge so repairs to the masonry can be carried out revealed

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Berwick Old Bridge will soon be closed to vehicles for a number of months from later this week.

Signage has been put in place by Northumberland County Council to inform people of the Grade 1 structure’s closure. This is happening so masonry repairs to the elevations and arch barrels can be carried out.

The bridge was closed from October 2020 to June 2021 for an initial restoration project.

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Last year, the county council said the timing of any celebration activities for the bridge’s 400th anniversary will be taken into account when it came to the works.

Road closure signage for Berwick Old Bridge. Picture by Alan Hughes.Road closure signage for Berwick Old Bridge. Picture by Alan Hughes.
Road closure signage for Berwick Old Bridge. Picture by Alan Hughes.

The renovation can now start after the local authority secured scheduled monument consent from Historic England to allow the works to begin.

The signage next to the bridge states: ‘Bridge refurbishment: This road will be closed 25 Jan 2024 for 20 weeks.’

The site compound will be set-up, scaffold erected then masonry repairs started, with teams working their way along the bridge.

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Coun John Riddle, cabinet member for improving our roads, said: “We’re pleased to be starting these works on Berwick Old Bridge.

“While the road will be closed to vehicles for the duration of the works, access over the bridge will be maintained for pedestrians – although there may be some short-term restrictions while the scaffold is erected and repositioned.

“As always, we will endeavour to keep disruption and restrictions to a minimum and thank locals in advance for their understanding during the works.”

The works were mentioned as part of a presentation by county council engineers about the bridge at a Heritage in Partnership event last Thursday, hosted by Museums Northumberland, which took place in the Ord Cross Gallery of Berwick Museum. Almost 50 community group members and civic and political representatives were in attendance.

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Berwick North county councillor Catherine Seymour said: “Members of the community are very keen to have this restoration work completed on our historic Berwick Old Bridge.

“It is without doubt the most interesting structure of its kind and date in Great Britain from its ancient past and historical importance, picturesque position and extreme beauty from all views.”

Berwick East county councillor Georgina Hill said: “I’m sure that residents will be pleased to hear that phases two and three, originally scheduled to take place separately, will now be done at the same time.”