Hull’s 13 Bridges

Hull is top of the list in that no other city has so many opening bridges over such a short distance of navigable river.  There are thirteen bridges and all of them swing or lift to open to river traffic. All the bridges – road, rail or foot – allow not just small pleasure craft, but commercial vessels with hundreds of tonnes of cargo.

Lime Street Graf Art
Lime Street Graf Art

Lots of people have heard of Open Bridges and commented that they didn’t realise there were so many bridges over the river, what the names of them are and which is which. There are a couple of ways of counting them – we’ve gone with the way the vessel skippers use, so: Ennerdale and Stoneferry count as two each because they can operate independently and Scott Street bridge doesn’t count because it’s been decommissioned.

So, the bridges of Hull, from North to South: 

Ennerdale Link (two bridges) at Kingswood  (Road)
Sutton Road (Road)
Stoneferry (two bridges) at Clough Road (Road)
Railway Bridge (Rail)
Wilmington (Foot)
Sculcoates (Chapman St.) (Road)
Scott Street (decommissioned, not counted)
North (Road)
Drypool (Road)
Scale Lane (Foot)
Myton (Road)
Millennium (Foot)

Here’s Rich’s gallery of photographs, one for each bridge, in order, north to south. Click on an image to see the full picture & caption and scroll along…

Thanks to Humber Keel Comrade’s Sailing Master John Medland for the bridge information. Click on the link to read John’s story – The Bridges of Hull – A Love Story

The image below was typed and water-coloured in 1965. It details the factories, wharfs and companies working the river at that time and the distances in minutes and seconds the vessels take from bridge to bridge. It still is pinned to the notice board at Wilmington.

Wilmington - River and Bridge map - 1965

Open Bridges is a whole tapestry of threads. It’s a celebration of Hull’s lifeblood, the River Hull, 13 movable bridges, the vessels that use the river and the heritage & culture that have grown up in both East and West Hull.

Open Bridges marks the vital role bridges play in our everyday lives with a river journey, the mustering of historic vessels and a new musique concrète commission by BAFTA winning Hull based composer John Stead.

Open Bridges and Freedom. Open Bridges is an exploration of the notion of freedom which is central to Hull’s identity following the work of William Wilberforce. To explore the idea that to truly understand freedom you have to experience its removal, we will momentarily separate the city in two as all the bridges raise or close for one minute at 20.17 on the autumn equinox, Friday 22nd September.

Friday 22nd September 2017 – Open Bridges music premiere is at an outdoor stage – The Stage @ The Dock –  it starts at 7.30 pm and finishes at 10.30 pm. From there you will be able to see the historic vessels as they enter the Humber. Tickets from Hull Box Office

Rich & Lou

OB Times medley

Richard Morrison The Times Arts Column 15.09.17


Photography © Richard Duffy-Howard