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People on Kingsgate Bridge with Durham Cathedral in the background

This year marks the 60th anniversary of one of Durham’s most striking bridges.

Kingsgate Bridge, a modern-looking, reinforced concrete structure which stands high above the River Wear, was opened in 1963.

A much-loved part of Durham

It is a Grade I listed building, meaning it has particular architectural and historical interest. It was personally designed by Sir Ove Arup, one of the most celebrated structural engineers of his time.

The Bridge is well-used and loved by our students and staff to make their way around Durham, as it links Dunelm House, home to Durham Students’ Union, and the Elvet area of the city with the Peninsula, home to Durham Castle, Durham Cathedral and several colleges and departments.

‘Spectacular, utterly outstanding’

On Wednesday 13 December, our Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen O’Brien joined others with a connection to the Bridge for a short ceremony marking its 60th anniversary.

Prof O’Brien said the Bridge, which was commissioned by the University, was spectacular, utterly outstanding, and symbolic of the extraordinary architectural quality that Durham offers. She also praised Sir Ove as one of the great structural engineers of the 20th Century.

Also gathered for the event were representatives of Durham County Council, which adopted the Bridge in 2005; the City of Durham Trust, a local civic society; Arup, the engineering firm that Sir Ove founded; and the City of Durham Parish Council.

The event was co-organised by John Lowe, Chair of the City of Durham Trust. Dr Adrian Green, from our History Department, spoke about the architectural history of the Bridge. Alan Powers, from the Twentieth Century Society, which campaigns for the preservation of architectural heritage from 1914 onwards, spoke via video link.

A unique setting

Our campus is home a huge range of architectural styles, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral, through to 20th Century buildings and recent additions such as the Teaching and Learning Centre and John Snow and South Colleges.

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