'View of Tanfield Arch in the County of Durham', c 1811.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Watercolour by J Atkinson, showing the bridge with two horses and a cart crosing it, and two fishermen in the shallow river below. Two men with guns and three dogs stand in the foreground, another with a dog is walking to the left of the picture. Built in 1725-1726, Tanfield Arch (also known as Causey Arch) is the oldest surviving single arch railway bridge in the world. It was constructed to carry the Tanfield Railway acros the gorge of Causey Burn. The railway, which opened in 1725, was built to take coal to the River Tyne. Initially this was done using horse-drawn wagons on wooden tracks, but the railway was converted to metal rails with steam locomotives in the 19th century. Today the railway still operates as a popular tourist attraction.