top of page

Designer overlooks the new bridge

Taken from the Northumberland council website.

A sculpture of the man who designed the Union Chain Bridge is now overseeing the final stages of work on the new bridge. It's life size, cast in bronze on a plinth of Hutton sandstone.

Captain Samuel Brown was a British Royal Navy officer who designed innovative cables made from iron chains. His factories making these chains were so successful that he became the sole supplier of iron chains to the Navy for a century. He applied his new ideas to civil engineering and, in 1818-19, proposed a suspension bridge design over the River Tweed, which included the use of another of his innovations: wrought-iron eye-bar chains and links. The pioneering suspension engineering meant that the total cost of the build was £7,700 – about one third of the cost of a stone bridge and four times longer than would have been practicable as a single span in stone.

Thomas Telford used Brown’s ideas for his famous Menai Straits Bridge and Brown’s design influenced the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, designer of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. There is another of Brown's "chain bridges" locally, over the River Teviot at Kalemouth.

Robbie Hunter from the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge group said: “The erection of the statue of Captain Brown marks the near completion of the restoration of the Union Chain Bridge. It is highly appropriate to remember this pioneering engineer in such a way."

51 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page