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Skerne Bridge


Engineering / Construction, Bridges, Railways

Darlington's iconic bridge over the river Skerne is reputedly the world’s oldest railway bridge still used for carrying trains. It was built as part of the world’s first publicly subscribed passenger railway.

It is also a bridge which almost everyone in England has owned a picture of at some time. Why? An image of the bridge appeared on the Bank of England £5 note between 1990 and 2003.

The bridge has a large central arch over the river and two smaller arches to permit access along the riverbanks on either side. Designed in 1825 by Britain’s first ‘railway architect’, Ignatius Bonomi, it has refined cornice and archway features carved in stone that make it a fine example of late Georgian architecture. Indeed it was the first railway bridge in the world to be designed by an architect rather than an engineer.


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