Prebends Bridge, Durham WHS

Prebends Bridge is one of three stone arched structures which cross the River Wear in the centre of Durham and was designed by George Nicholson, architect to the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral. Built between 1772 -1778, the unusual name comes from the title of Prebendary, an honorary title given to senior parish priests awarded for long and dedicated service within a diocese.

The bridge forms part of the estate of Durham Cathedral and is Grade 1 Listed. Although it is wide enough for traffic, it is only used in an emergency and has been restricted to foot and cycle traffic for a number of years with a weight limit imposed. The last time it carried traffic was in 2010 while Sadler Street was being repaved and it provided the only link to and from Cathedral Close.

River traffic had been restricted due to pieces of stonework dropping from the intrados of the bridge arches caused by surface water leaking through from the carriageway after a new road deck had been installed by the County Council.

HPR’s involvement was confined to the provision and management of the bespoke and complex scaffold erected to support the structure to allow repairs to be undertaken. The company was recommended to the Clerk of Works by structural engineers Patrick Parsons Ltd. A specialist contractor was then engaged directly by the Dean and Chapter to inject a structural resin to stabilise the stone structure.

The Dean and Chapter and its Fabric Advisory Committee is thrilled with the quality of work produced by HPR Ltd. The skills exhibited in stone masonry are particularly fine. Managers and staff have developed good relations with the client team – we couldn’t have asked for better attitude or commitment.

Lindy Gilliland Testimonial -
Lindy Gilliland - Newcastle Cathedral Project Manager

"From my personal perspective, this was one of the best projects I have been involved with over the last 35 years as a Chartered Building Surveyor, RIS Accredited in Building Conservation. My client role on this was a complete pleasure, because you and your team were first class, complementing the excellent professional design team. Well done!"

Richard Dunn -
PCC Project Co-ordinator, for St John the Baptist Church, Wilberfoss

"May I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for your professional and unfailingly helpful conduct during this project. We particularly appreciate the efforts made to overcome the deficiencies and problems arising from the previous contractor."

Andrew Bodenham -
Blackett Ord Conservation

"HPR recognise, and allow for, the necessary archaeological recording to take place during consolidation work and the disruptions that this may cause to their planned programme of work comes as no surprise to them. This awareness means that their workforce is able to be pro-active in informing the archaeologist of any possible instances when recording may be necessary."

Mick Krupa -
NPHT Archaeologist at Nenthead Smeltmill

"Historic Property Restoration carried out the first phase of the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Town Hall. The company were extremely professional in their approach throughout the entire process as befits a company with extensive experience in the conservation and restoration sector."

David Lodge -
Greater Morpeth Development Trust

"Historic Property Restoration deliver good quality work to programme and budget on a regular basis. They are reliable and value for money."

Ian Merritt -
English Heritage Conservation and Maintenance Manager
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