Bridges Over the River Tyne ~ Part 3

Part 1 HERE.   Part 2 HERE

After we got to the end of the High Level Bridge it was time to go to lunch, and we found a fab little cafe called Long Play Cafe, as well as serving great food and coffee, they have a record deck and loads of music on vinyl which you can play if your sitting next to the deck

After lunch we walked to the Swing Bridge and went across it and back again.

The hydraulic power still used to move the bridge is today derived from electrically driven pumps. These feed a hydraulic accumulator sunk into a 60 foot (18 m) shaft below the bridge; the water is then released under pressure which runs the machinery to turn the bridge. The mechanism used for this is still the same machinery originally installed by Armstrong. It has an 281 feet (85.6 m) cantilevered span with a central axis of rotation able to move through 360° to allow vessels to pass on either side of it.The previous bridge on the site was demolished in 1868 to enable larger ships to move upstream to William Armstrong’s works. The hydraulic Swing Bridge was designed and paid for by Armstrong, with work beginning in 1873. It was first used for road traffic on 15 June 1876 and opened for river traffic on 17 July 1876. At the time of construction it was the largest swing bridge ever built. The construction costs were £240,000.The Swing Bridge stands on the site of the Old Tyne Bridges of 1270 and 1781, and probably of the Roman Pons Aelius. It is a Grade II* listed structure.

On the way over

View from the Swing bridge, of the Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge

Looking the other way, the Queen Elizabeth 2nd bridge and King Edward V11 bridge beyond it.

On the way back

View of the Castle at the end of the bridge

After we left the bridge we had a wander around the quayside and saw the old Fish Market building

The Fish Market in Victorian times (post 1880 when it was built) on the Quayside near the Guildhall. As the commercial heart of Newcastle moved away from the Quayside so did the traders and the Fish Market moved, during the twentieth century until 1976 it was on Clayton Street, From 1876 the Fish Market moved to the Green Market, part of the new Eldon Square.

Today it is difficult to know where the fish market is.Neptune looks across the Tyne from the top of the old Fish Market, erected in 1880. Also note the larger than usual sea-horses supporting the city arms above the door. This building had been unused for over a decade, but it now rejoins the commercial activity of the area, this time as a high class ale house for the booze sodden partygoers that make the nightly pilgrimage to this centre of revelry.

The upper storey of this building used to house the Town Court, and the Mayor’s Chamber. It is decorated with heraldic devices and scenes from Newcastle’s history, topped by a hammer beam roof.

Then we went on to walk down to the millennium bridge, but as it was Sunday there was a market on and we got distracted by it 🙂 so that will be the next part of our visit to the bridges.

Stay tooned!

(info re Fish Market from http://www.seenewcastle.com)

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