'A Chain Bridge', Middleton-in-Teesdale, Durham, 1753.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Drawing by J S of 'A Chain Bridge, commonly called the Winch bridge near Middleton in Teesdale, supported from two Rocks, upon two Iron Chains. Designed & built by some Miners & Country Workmen, about the year 1753'. This footbridge is generally believed to have been the first suspension bridge built in Europe. It was initially built to enable lead miners to cros the rocky gorge of the Tees above Middleton-in-Teesdale, Durham. The bridge, 70 feet long and 60 feet above the river, was the scene of a fatal accident in 1820. One of the chains broke while a party of haymakers was crosing the river, killing one man who fell onto the rocks below. The bridge was repaired, then replaced with a new structure in 1830.