Sunderland Guide: Wearmouth Bridge

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Location: A1018, City Centre

Wearmouth Bridge is the central and most famous bridge of the City of Sunderland. Sitting upon a valley over the River Wear, the bridge marks its final area of crossing before it reaches the sea. The Bridge is 114 metres long with a span of 73 metres.


The first form of Wearmouth Bridge was built in 1796, uniting the settlements of Bishopwearmouth and Monkwearmouth into one town, thus uniting “Sunderland” for the first time. At the time, it constituted a revolutionary act of engineering and was the largest iron span bridge in the entire world, designed by Thomas Paine. Foreign leaders, such as Tsar of Russia Alexander I, visited the bridge subsequently held the new structure as a global wonder.

The bridge would last until the 1920s, until it was completely rebuilt from 1927-1929 in the form we now know today, which came at a cost of £231,943. The Bridge has since become an icon of Sunderland, being notably featured on the crest of Sunderland A.F.C.