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St. Boswells Scotland
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Information on the village of St. Boswells in Scotland.
Bridges of the River Tweed
Bridges of the Tweed
Berwick Bridge – Built 1611 to 1634 by James Burrell. 355 metres long and 5 metres wide.Has 15 red sandstone arches with cutwaters which carry Doric columns and busts. The arches are highest at the North end – 14 metres. Now only used one way for traffic.
Royal Border Bridge – Built 1846 to 1849 by Robert Stephenson for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway, completing the linking of the East Coast Main Line. There are 28 high round arches in stone faced brick on stone piers. 38 metres above the Tweed.
Royal Tweed Bridge – Built 1925 to 1928 by L G Mouchel and Partners. Built to take much of the through traffic from Berwick Bridge. Four concrete spans – practical rather than beautiful. Much of the traffic for which it was designed has now gone onto the Berwick bypass, avoiding the town altogether.
Union Suspension Bridge at Horncliffe. Built 1819 to 1820 by Captain Samuel Brown RN. At the upper tidal limit of the River Tweed, on the site of a former ford which was normally passable. Advice on the building of the towers and abutments was sought from John Rennie. The roadway is timber suspended from pairs of wrought-iron chains with elongated bars connected by wrought iron. Brown invented the bar link and, by using it here, constructed what was, at the time, the longest suspension bridge at a quarter of the cost of a masonry equivalent. It is Europe's first and oldest surviving suspension which is still carrying road traffic.
Coldstream Bridge – Built 1763 to 1766 by James Smeaton for the Tweed Bridges Trust. Seven arches with arch bands, triple keystones and battered semi-octagonal cutwaters. The main arches were all built to the same radius to save on shuttering costs. The spandrels have keyed oculi with with a dark flint infill. The pilastered parapet was corbelled out to permit the widening of the roadway in 1960's.
Kelso Bridge – Built 1800 to 1803 by John Rennie. It has a level carriageway on five elliptical archways, the piers built on rounded cutwaters which carry paired engaged Doric columns. It replaced previous bridges which had been washed away, the last in 1797. At the west end of the bridge there are two cast-iron lamp standards whci were salvaged from Rennie's London Bridge, for which his Kelso Bridge is presumed to have been a model, when it was demolished in the 1930's.
Mertoun Bridge – Built 1839 – 1841 by James Slight. Originally built in timber with stone piers and abutments, the five segmental arches were a later addition to carry the main road. At the St Boswells end of the bridge is the toll-house much extended and altered. Mertoun Mill lies just upstream of the bridge, in an area still prone to flooding.
Dryburgh Suspension Bridge The bridge was built to replace the ferry which crossed the Tweed at this point. The 11th Earl of Buchan opened the bridge, which he had commissioned, on 1st August 1817, but unfortunately it only lasted four months, before being blown away in January 1818. After reconsideration of the original design, a replacement was built, which lasted until 1838, when it, too, suffered from the forces of nature, and collapsed.
Drygrange Bridge – Built 1779 to 1780 by Alexander Stevens at a traditional crossing point of the River Tweed – it is thought the Romans may have used the same crossing. The central span of 31 metres was exceptional for its time. Now traffic free, with the building of a replacement, of box-girder construction, in 1971 – 1973 by Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners.
Leaderfoot Railway Viaduct – Built 1865 by Charles Jopp & Messrs Wylie and Peddie for the Berwickshire Railway to carry the rail traffic to Duns and Reston. The 19 red sandstone arches, some 13 metres wide, stand up to 37 metres above the level of the River Tweed. Became redundant with the closing of the line in 1948, after the floods of that year washed out many of the other bridges in Berwickshire. Now in the Guardianship of Historic Scotland, any thoughts of turning it into a bungee-jumping site have hopefully passed.
Melrose Chain Bridge – Built 1826 by Redpath Brown and Co. Gothick pylons with corbelled and crenellated heads over pointed arched openings. Blacksmith forged iron chains and suspenders were combined by the Smith family of Darnick who did the actual construction work. Completely reconstructed in 1991, with a new deck which is out of keeping with the original design. The Toll House at the Melrose end is of the original date and probably also by Smith. Not open to vehicular traffic.
Priorsford Suspension Bridge Peebles – Built 1905 as a result of public subscription. Downstream, was the original 33 metre suspension bridge built in 1817 for Sir John Hay which was washed away in the 1950's.
Peebles Tweed Bridge original structure probably from 15th century. Until the 18th century it was the only bridge crossing of the Tweed above Kelso. Rebuilt in 1663 using stone from the ruined St Andrew's Church, it had additional arches added in 1799, by John Hislop; it was widened twice - from 8ft to 21 ft in 1834 by John and Thomas Smith and from 21 ft to 40ft in 1900 by McTaggart, Cowan & Barker. All the widening can be clearly seen underneath.
Bridges of the River Tweed, Scotland