Berwick - 1832

Berwick and the Great North Road

Berwick-upon-Tweed’s red sandstone “Old Bridge” was completed in 1634 (after 24 years) replacing an earlier wooden structure. It was paired with Robert Stephenson’s rail bridge in the 19th century then supplemented by the concrete Royal Tweed road bridge in 1925. The current A1 loops around the town, crossing the Tweed well to the west.

About Berwick

Berwick lies on the north bank of the River Tweed as it enters the North Sea.

As the national boundary was redrawn 14 times between 13th and 15th centuries so Berwick alternated between Scotland and England. It has ended up England’s most northerly town – but is just 56 miles from Edinburgh, and its football team plays in the Scottish league.

Inevitably Berwick has been of much military significance. Berwick Castle dates from 1160. It was completely rebuilt by Edward I along with defensive town walls and an array of impressive buildings, including royal apartments, a great hall and a chapel.

In Elizabethan times the fortifications were upgraded to include great artillery ramparts. They are unique in the UK and survive to this day. A four storey octagonal Bell Tower was also added.

Explore Berwick

The images below provide links to additional information either on this website or elsewhere.


Berwick Then and Now

The first image is from a 1610 map which emphasises the defensive nature of the town – still evident today.

Stamford - not much changed in 70 years!
  • Lindisfarne


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne lies 4 miles from the Great North Road between Berwick and Newcastle. The Northumberland coast is magnificent, and Lindisfarne is...

  • King James I - Hunting - Henry Marriott Paget

King James I

A meandering but triumphant journey south along the Great North Road marked the start of the reign of King James I in 1603. It was his first visit to England...

  • River Tweed, Coldstream

River Tweed

The first record of a bridge over the Tweed near Berwick is of one that was destroyed by floods in 1199. A wooden bridge was in place during the following.....