Early Bridges – A crossing has existed at this point for centuries
First Pictorial Record – Circa 1767 The bridge has a drawbridge action similar to those seen in the Low Countries. It was designed by Robert Shout, the county engineer.
The First Swing Bridge – The 1767 bridge was demolished in 1833 and a new bridge, designed by Francis Pickernell was built to replace it. It was completed in 1835.
The 1835 bridge had one major flaw – its span was a mere 4o feet
The Current Swing Bridge – This was commissioned in August 1906. The local District Council promise that the bridge would be "of sufficient strength to carry a traction engine weighing 15 tons".
Temporary Bridge – Before construction on the new swing bridge could begin, a temporary bridge was built of wood and steel. Placed to the seaward side of the old bridge, it gave a 45 foot navigable span
Demolition – The old bridge was demolished. Total removal of the original structure was required, so that the engineers, Heenan and Froude (who built the Blackpool Tower) had a clear site to work on.
The Opening - The formal opening of the bridge took place in July 1909
The ceremony was led by Mrs Gervase Beckett, wife of the local Member of Parliament
The bridge is still going strong 100 years later – and occasionally has some very impressive vessels passing through! This is the Grand Turk which has it's home in Whitby.
With kind thanks to Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society for the photographs.