Stockton Stone Bridge
Before the existence of a bridge at this location, the only way of crossing the Tees was by the Bishop’s Ferry.
The first bridge to serve the growing town of Stockton was a five arch stone bridge which opened in 1771.
Prior to the building of the bridge, Yarm had been the main trading port on the Tees. The building of the bridge presented a barrier to the larger ships that would normally have loaded and unloaded at Yarm which meant that the port of Stockton became the busier port on the river at that time and Yarm’s position declined. This coincided with the growth of the shipyards that sprang up on both sides of the river to the east of the bridge.
By 1876 Stockton Bridge was deemed inadequate to cope with the growing traffic and work begun on a new bridge in 1881. The new bridge, which still stands today, was opened in 1887 and was named the Victoria Bridge as a tribute to Queen Victoria.
Did you know… The first traveller to go over the bridge was a dead one? The body of James Hustler, who owned large areas of Acklam and Middlesbrough, was taken across it for burial at Acklam before the bridge was completed. It is said the body had been brought from London by sea to Stockton Quay.