Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Skerne Railway bridge, 320m south east of Darlington Railway Museum

A Scheduled Monument in North Road, Darlington

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Latitude: 54.5345 / 54°32'4"N

Longitude: -1.5506 / 1°33'2"W

OS Eastings: 429177.959231

OS Northings: 515557.121433

OS Grid: NZ291155

Mapcode National: GBR KJM0.39

Mapcode Global: WHC5X.49W5

Entry Name: Skerne Railway bridge, 320m south east of Darlington Railway Museum

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002331

English Heritage Legacy ID: DA 87

County: Darlington

Electoral Ward/Division: North Road

Built-Up Area: Darlington

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Darlington St James

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument includes a railway bridge, designed in 1824, spanning the River Skerne in the centre of Darlington. The single span bridge is constructed of sandstone and comprises a large central arch with curving wing walls containing smaller pedestrian arches,. The south side of the bridge retains its parapet, but the north side has been widened. The bridge was designed by Ignatius Bonomi in order to carry the Stockton and Darlington railway across the River Skerne.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 23/08/2011

PastScape Monument No:-1010231
NMR:- NZ21NE13

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The development of railway bridges is linked closely with the inception and growth of the railway transport network, which began with the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825 followed by rapid expansion throughout the 19th century and early 20th century. The development of the rail network required the preparation of straight, flat routes and necessitated the crossing of widely varied terrain through a series of engineering works including tunnels, cuttings, embankments, bridges and viaducts. As an integral part of the railway network, bridges are representative of a technological and engineering phenomenon that was initiated in Britain and allowed the industrial revolution to flourish permanently transforming the socioeconomic status of the country. As such, early, well-preserved or architecturally outstanding examples of railway bridges are deemed to be of national importance.

Despite the fact that it has been widened, Skerne Railway Bridge is reasonably well preserved. It is highly significant as an integral element of the original Stockton to Darlington railway line which opened in 1825. This early pioneering phase of the development of the railways has significance on a world-wide scale. Skerne Bridge is considered to be one of the first ever railway bridges remains as the oldest railway bridge in the world still in use. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the significance of its designer Ignatius Bonomi, one of the first ever railway architects.

Source: Historic England

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