Piercebridge Roman Bridge

Piercebridge Roman Bridge

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Piercebridge Roman Bridge

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Piercebridge Roman Bridge was a Roman bridge, now ruined, over the River Tees, near the village of Piercebridge, County Durham, England.

The bridge was the crossing point over the river Tees for the Roman Road Dere Street. Piercebridge was also the site of a Roman fort.

The Tees has narrowed and changed its course over the centuries so the remains lie in a field around south of the current course of the river, and approximately east of Piercebridge.

What remains of the bridge are the massive masonry blocks that formed the piers of the bridge. The lower courses of one of the abutments still stand, partially complete, and it is possible to see the holes into which the wooden structure of the bridge would have fitted. All of the timber has disappeared in the nearly 16 centuries since the end of the Roman occupation.

Alternative interpretation

Whilst the majority opinion amongst archaeologists is that the structure is a bridge, an alternative interpretation has been proposed by amateur archaeologist Raymond Selkirk, who contends that the structure is a navigation dam with an overspill channel. From this, and other evidence he argues that the Romans made far greater use of river transport than is generally recognised. His views are set out in his books The Piercebridge Formula (1983), On the Trail of the Legions (1995) and Chester-le-Street & Its Place in History (2000).


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