1831 The Chain Bridge
The first bridge across the river at this location was the Old Scotswood Bridge, or ’The Chain Bridge’ as it was known locally, which was built to link the Gateshead - Hexham turnpike road with the north bank of the Tyne.
This was a suspension bridge with two stone towers, from which the road deck was suspended by chains. It was passed by parliament in 1829 and construction began that year. When it was opened on 16 April 1831 it was the first bridge over the River Tyne to be opened during Tyneside's industrial era.
In 1883, Newcastle engineer WG Laws discovered serious rusting. He declared that for safety reasons the number of people on the bridge at any one time should be reduced to 3000!
The bridge eventually proved too narrow for the traffic it needed to carry and its increasing repair costs proved too much. After standing for 136 years, it was closed and demolished in 1967 after its replacement the ‘new’ Scotswood Bridge had been completed.