Britannia Testhouse

Britannia Testhouse

This building represents a solitary survivor from Dorman Long’s Britannia Steelworks and is associated with a number of famous bridges. The former British Steel Test House which is now Durham Liftings is a three-storey brick building on the Riverside Park Industrial Estate.

It was supposedly built to hold a machine large enough to test the components for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The building design, however, appears much earlier than this and is Victorian in style.

Britannia Testhouse

Today it is used by Durham Lifting to test the tensile strength of wire ropes, mooring shackles, anchorage for offshore rigs, giant industrial hooks and aircraft wings. Several world-famous bridges feature among the prestigious contracts which called for its services, including the

Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932), the Severn Bridge (1966), the Forth Road Bridge (1964), and the Humber Bridge (1981). The building has an elegant appearance that also reflects its industrial use.