Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/321

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was formed by six longitudinal ribs, each consisting of one hundred and five joints nearly two feet in length, bound together by huge cylindrical tubes of cast iron, forming horizontal and perpendicular cross-pieces. Large circular rings of solid iron, gradually diminishing from the abutments to the centre of the bridge, connect the ribs with the platform. The largest of these measures in diameter forty-two feet, and weighs upwards of two tons. The obvious advantages of these structures over stone bridges—a lessened expence, a speedier erection, and a greater durability—have rendered them very common since this at Sunderland was put up. Mr. Wilson very properly enjoys nearly the exclusive advantage of designing and superintending them; and has lately shipped for Jamaica one upon an immense scale, to be erected at Kingston in that island.

Passing over this noble bridge, we changed our eastern direction, and taking a north-western route, advanced through a country deformed by collieries, curious but unpicturesque, towards Gateshead, built upon the southern steep bank of the Tyne, and separated from Newcastle only by the interjection of that river. This is a large place, containing 714 houses, 1467 families, 2806 males, and 3238 females; and enjoying the same trade,