The Story of the Tyne bridges in Crossing the Tyne at Segedunum Roman Fort

7th March 2014


It’s the last chance for people to see Crossing the Tyne at Segedunum Roman Fort, an exploration of the bridges and tunnels that have - and still do - enable passage across the Tyne River, before the exhibition closes on 16 March 2014.

View of Newcastle

The River Tyne is a great divider; overcoming this barrier has challenged the skills of engineers and designers for millenniae.

Crossing the Tyne explores the history of these crossings and the unique relationship that Tynesiders have with the river, through paintings, photographs, artefacts and memorabilia.

Curator Adam Bell, Keeper of History at Tyne & Wear Archive & Museums said:
“From the first Roman settlement when Newcastle was Pons Aelius with a wooden bridge built in AD122, to the contemporary, globally recognisable bridges, the story of these endeavours is fascinating.“

The Crossing the Tyne exhibition explores the variety of bridges, ferries and tunnels that have been built, as well as some of the schemes that remained simply ideas.

Geoff Woodward Manager of North Tyneside Museums said:
“Who hasn’t got a lump in their throat when coming home to the North East crossing the River Tyne and catching their first glimpse of the Tyne Bridge? They are an iconic part of the industrial heritage and identity of the area.”

Significant items in the exhibition include a walking stick made from oak from the original Roman bridge built in 122 AD, found during the building of the Swing Bridge between 1868 and 1876; a wooden box used by King George V which held the button he used to raise the barrier to open the Tyne Bridge at its opening ceremony on 10 October 1928; and a ferry model built in1925, which operated the Market Place Ferry route between North and South Shields until 1968.

Crossing the Tyne also features a range of specially selected oil and watercolour paintings from the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ collection, including artwork by HMM Hemy and Thomas Liddell as well as a series of paintings by urban landscape painter Robert Soden who was commissioned to illustrate the construction of the second Tyne Tunnel.

Did you know?

Segedunum means ‘Strong Fort’
Has the only stone toilet seat from Roman Britain in the UK
Was once home to 600 Roman soldiers called the 4th Cohort of the Lingones
Is the most excavated fort along Hadrian’s Wall
Has a 35 metre high viewing tower
Kids go free