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Document 35, p 2

Tyne Bridge there: so far as the Magistrates of that Town were concerned there
with and (which thro’ the [fan?] down the River and in the Tides way suffered
an almost total demolition) Mr Wooler on faith of Boreings made by a
Surveyor a person employed by the Magistrates of the County for that purpose
who reported that a Bed of Clay laid at no more than four feet under the Bed
of the River, at a place about 50 yards above or westward of the Bridge Built
by Sir Walter Blackett, formed a proper design for Building a Bridge upon
the Foundation described upon the principles of piling and planking under
the Piers, and which was begun accordingly in the year 1774 and after Building
the North Land breast. Mr Pickernel was recommended in the beginning of
the year 1775 to the County by Mr Wooler and Employed as Surveyor under him
for the erection of this Bridge; who having sunk the foundation Pit for the first
Pier from the North Abutment, as directed, to the depth of four feet below the Bed
of the River to find the Bed of Clay; instead thereof came to a Stratum of a very
different nature; which after Examining he reported to Mr Wooler, then at
Hull viz A Quicksand full of Bubbley Springs, and of so loose a texture
that by hand only a Barr of Iron entered into 46 feet without meeting
any resistance; and that a trial pile of whole Timber, Entered 26 feet,
at 2 ½ inches P. Stroke of the Ram without stoping; and that the Gentlemen
concerned were eye Witnesses to the facts.*
Upon the above report Mr Wooler declared his opinion; that the attempt
-ing to sett a Bridge upon such an enormous depth of Quicksand over a
River so subject to Great floods as the Tyne may be deemed so hazardous
as to be next to imprudence itself-And again that this wretched Quick
-sand renders the attempting a Bridge on such principles (that is of piling
and planking under the Piers) little better than folly-a Quicksand which
from its resistance to the Iron Barr cannot be deemed much better than
a heap of Chaff For says he "Let it again be supposed that a Flood like
"that which overturned the late Bridge should happen it cannot be doubted
"that when the loose Gravel under the Bed of the River (only four feet thick)
2 shall

Note: Mr Smeaton's Memorial concerning Hexham Bridge, p 2

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Transcribed by CTW and TB