Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-on-Tweed, taken from the Berwick side, looking upstream. Designed by Robert Stephenson, and Grade I listed, the bridge was constructed 1847-50 for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, and is still in use for the East Coast Main Line. It is 659 metres or nearly half a mile long, with "28 high round arches (stone-faced brick) on stone piers, 126 feet above the river" ("Royal Border Bridge"). The listing text adds: "Fine monumental work." Since Berwick is officially in England, it is not technically a border bridge.

A closer view of the piers, with their "aesthetically faced" stonework ("About Royal Border Bridge").

Queen Victoria opened the bridge on 29 August 1850, writing in her journal that day, "We stopped at Alnwick station, & a little after 3, reached Berwick, where we got out & inaugurated the beautiful new bridge, similar to the one at New Castle. Thousands of spectators were assembled & Addresses were presented by the Mayor. Ld Grey took leave us here" (30: 53). Note that the Queen had made a ceremonial crossing of the High Level Bridge at Newcastle, also to Stephenson's design, a little less than a year previously, on 28 September 1849. But the two structures are not very "similar"!

Photographs by Colin Price, with text by Price and Jacqueline Banerjee, and formatting by Banerjee. You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or to the Victorian Web in a print document. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


""About Royal Border Bridge." National Transport Trust. Web. 12 February 2021.

Queen Victoria's Journals.

"Royal Border Bridge." Historic England. Web. 12 February 2021.

Created 10 February 2021