Gaunless Bridge

Location type


Name and dates

Gaunless Bridge (1825-1969)

Opened on the Stockton and Darlington Railway.


This bridge was near West Auckland on the Shildon to Witton Park Colliery portion of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.

This was the first iron bridge to be built for a railway.

The West Auckland to Shildon portion closed in 1858, with the opening of the South Durham and Lancashire Union Railway in 1856, but a short portion of the line was retained over the bridge. The bridge was replaced in 1901, not being designed for locomotives, and the short portion extended to the Brusselton Colliery, becoming the Brusselton Branch. This closed before 1930 and was cut back again, removed probably with closure of the main line in 1969.

The original bridge was stored at the Brusselton Colliery until 1925 when it was reassembled at the National Railway Museum [York].



External links

NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67

News items

21/08/2023Iron railway bridge that changed the world to return home to Durham [The Guardian]
01/03/2023Grant awarded for repairs to bridge abutments [RAIL]


Stockton & Darlington Railway Rail 150 Exhibition Steam Cavalcade: Souvenir guide

The Origins of Railway Enterprise: The Stockton and Darlington Railway 1821-1863

The Stockton and Darlington Railway: 175 Years (Britain in Old Photographs)