Durham Framwellgate Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are masonry footings remains

NameDurham Framwellgate Bridge
Alternative NamesOld Bridge; Framagate
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishDurham

Bridge. Early C15 replacement for early C12 bridge; widened early C19. Coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings: 2 wide elliptical arches on south side have 3 chamfers; central cutwater; iron cladding on springing at east end on outer ribs. 7 square ribs. Further cutwater on land at east end, and one land arch visible. Bands at road bed level, dipping to stone drains. Renewed parapet has chamfered coping. 3 C20 cast iron lamps on parapet at each side with founder's mark Bromford Tube Co. (Listed Building Report)

A quarter of a mile below the weir the river is crossed by Framwellgate Bridge, or the Old Bridge, as it was called in mediaeval times to distinguish it from the later Elvet Bridge. This bridge was originally built by Flambard in 1120, but it was swept away by a flood in 1400. For a time a crossing was maintained by a ferry boat, but the present bridge was built in the 15th century by Bishop Langley (1406–37) and was widened in the early part of the 19th century. It consists of two arches, each of 90 ft. span, and was formerly fortified by towers and gates at each end. (VCH)

This is part of the defences of Durham. It is the site of the tower and gate on Framwellgate Bridge. A wall connected the gatehouse to the city wall. The gatehouse was probably strengthened in 1315 and demolished in 1760. (Keys to the Past D1215)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ272424
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  • Jervoise, E., 1931, The Ancient Bridges of the North of England (London; The Architectural Press for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) p. 43-4
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1928, 'The city of Durham: Rivers, bridges and mills' VCH Durham Vol. 3 (London) p. 62-4 online transcription
  • Hutchinson, Wm, 1785-94, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham Vol. 2 p. 364 online copy


  • Harrison, D., McKeague, P. and Watson, B., 2010, 'England's fortified medieval bridges and bridge chapels: a new survey' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 25 p. 45-51 online copy


  • Bruce Watson, 2013 Sept, Gazetteer of fortified bridges (working list kindly shared with Gatehouse)