IF it were open, Witton Park would be in our top ten of curious bridges – afterall, it is one of just four in the country to thread, like cotton through the eye of a needle, beneath a railway bridge.

But it is not.

So which open road or footbridges are the most curious in our area (we are not including railway bridges)? This is completely unscientific, and we’d love your suggestions as there are bound to be loads we’ve missed out. In no particular order:

1. Transporter

OBVIOUS. Middlesbrough’s revolutionary Transporter is one of only two of its kind in the country. It opened in 1911, was chosen by the Royal Mail to be on one of its ten stamps showing Britain’s iconic bridges, and was famously sold to the US in an episode of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

2. Elvet

WORK started on this Durham bridge in 1160 and today no one knows how many arches it has. Ten are visible but there may be as many as four others hidden on either side. It is one of only three bridges in England still with houses on it, and one of the few to be haunted – Jimmy the gypsy piper can still be heard playing on it. It is said to be the narrowest rowed through bridge in Europe.

3. Aldin Grange

DEFEATED King David II of Scotland fled the Battle of Neville’s Cross on October 17, 1346, and was found hiding beneath this bridge over the River Browney near Bearpark by John Copeland, who spotted his reflection in the water. David kicked two of Mr Copeland’s teeth out before he was captured.

4. Ketton

THIS packhorse bridge to the north of Darlington was first mentioned in 1294 crossing the Skerne, yet this 17th Century construction, which is a scheduled ancient monument, is 50 yards from the river. In the 1860s, the Skerne was straightened, leaving the bridge high and dry in a field.

5. Low Hail

IN Hurworth, this private carriagebridge across the Tees was built in 1879 to take human effluent from the village over to the farmer to use as fertiliser. It is built to the design of the bridges of Madison County.

6. Whorlton

CROSSING the Tees near Barnard Castle is the oldest road suspension bridge in the country. It was a revolutionary concept when it was built in 1831, by John Green of Newcastle, and very brave – most suspension bridges of this era collapsed.

7. Girsby

THEOPHANIA BLACKETT of Sockburn Hall closed the Anglo-Saxon church in her grounds to local people and built them a new church at Girsby on the other side of the river. Darlington Highways Board levied a special tax on the ratepayers of Sockburn (ie: on Theophania) so they could take her to the Court of the Queen’s Bench in London which ordered her to build a bridge over the Tees to the church. So Girsby Bridle Bridge opened in the middle of nowhere in 1870.

8. Kingsgate

BRIDGES don’t have to be old. This high-level footbridge over the Wear in Durham was built in 1963 by Ove Arup out of brutal concrete. It is ugly but elegant, and is exhilarating to walk across.

9. Harkerside Swing

WE’RE desperately short of North Yorkshire entries so this suspension bridge near Reeth comes into the top ten, knocking out Teesdale’s Wynch Bridge. It was built in 1920 to replace stepping stones. Anything more inappropriate at the bottom of stonewall-lined Yorkshire dale is hard to imagine, but it makes a lovely walk and completes the scene. And, despite its name, it doesn’t swing – unless you walk too vigorously across it.

10. God’s

OVER the Greta near Bowes is a natural limestone bridge which a farmer drives his wagons across – the river has hollowed out beneath it. A Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is the finest of its kind in Yorkshire, if not the country, and it is older than any of our other bridges – by about a trillion years!

l What is your most curious bridge? Please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk with any suggestions or comments.