Skip to main content

New Hall is now open!

We are open 7 days a week (except 24–26 December). See the Visit page for more info.

If you're a school or a group, book your free tickets here.

You are here:

Gaunless Bridge

Behold the green magnificence of this George Stephenson design from 1823, the very first railway bridge to use an iron truss.

Stop off on your way to New Hall for a look at this innovative piece of railway architecture.

This bridge crossed the River Gaunless on a branch line to the west of Shildon from 1823 until it was removed in 1901. It was one of the first railway bridges to be constructed of iron, and the very first to use an iron truss.

The bridge became part of the now-defunct York Railway Museum’s collection in 1927, before going on display in the National Railway Museum’s car park in 1975. In 2023 it was sympathetically restored and brought back to the North East to go on display at Locomotion.

The bridge's original colours were revealed during the conservation process and confirmed by a model of the bridge in our collection. It was repainted in its authentic green hue in early 2024.

The Gaunless Bridge project has been generously supported by the Ironmonger's Livery Company (Funder) and members of the public.

Old pics