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Dryburgh, Suspension Bridge

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
    RCAHMS
  • Alternative name(s)
    RIVER TWEED; BRIDGE STREAM; DRYBURGH ABBEY, OLD IRON CHAIN BRIDGE; DRYBURGH ABBEY FOOTBRIDGE; DRYBURGH MAINS
  • Canmore ID
    55698
  • Site type
    SUSPENSION BRIDGE
  • Parish
    MERTOUN
  • Council
    BERWICKSHIRE
  • NGR
    NT 58857 32090
  • Latitude, longitude
    55.580712N, 2.65418W
  • Archeological notes
    NT53SE 84 58857 32090 Suspension Bridge (Foot) [NAT] OS 1:10,000 map, 1992. Location formerly cited as NT 5885 3209. NMRS REFERENCE: Architect: John and Thomas Smith, 1817 EXTERNAL REFERENCE: Scottish Record Office: GD/157/2009 The chain bridge, sketch 1817 GD/157/2019 Pen sketch, 1817 RIBA Drawings Collection Plan and elevation - John and Thomas Smith, 1817 Gentleman's Magazine, 1817-18: LXXXVII, p.175; LXXXVIII, p.268, 367 (Undated) information in NMRS. (Suspension bridge of wire rope and truss deck type: location cited as NT 588 321). 20th century. Wire-rope cables (two on each side), rod suspenders, lattice truss span, wooden deck. Span about 250 ft (76.2m). Public footbridge. J R Hume 1977b. This suspension bridge was designed by John Smith, and built in 1817; it was blown down but successfully re-erected in 1818. It was blown down again and replaced in 1850. C A Strang 1994. This bridge carries a footpath across the River Tweed to the SW of Dryburgh Mains steading (NT53SE 219) and within the area known as Bridge Stream. The river here forms the boundary between the parishes of Mertoun (to the N) and St Boswells (to the S). The location assigned to this record defines the centre of the span. The available map evidence indicates that the bridge extends from NT c. 58859 32047 to NT c. 58861 32119. The chronology and extent of the successive reconstructions of this structure remain unclear. Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 13 January 2006. Dryburgh Suspension Bridge. The first chain bridge in Scotland, being built in 1817 by Thomas Smith, with a wooden platform suspended from iron chains. It was twice reconstructed, first after a gale in 1818 'on a new and more elegant plan' by the Smiths, and again in 1872, when firm posts were placed along the walkway, with a strong wire rope attached to each post and fixed in the centre of the bridge. K Cruft, J Dunbar and R Fawcett 2006.
  • Architectural notes
    N/A

Related material information

PRINT ROOM

  • 55698 ()
    Postcard. General view.
  • 55698 (1880)
    Historic photograph. General view.

SCANNED IMAGES

  • 494370 (8/8/1976)
    Dryburgh, Suspension Bridge View looking N showing N half of walkway
  • 494369 (8/8/1976)
    Dryburgh, Suspension Bridge General view showing wire rope cables and part of suspension rod
  • 494368 (8/8/1976)
    Dryburgh, Suspension Bridge View looking N along walkway
  • 494367 (8/8/1976)
    Dryburgh, Suspension Bridge View from SSE showing S front

DIGITAL IMAGES

  • 1089332 (30/7/2007)
    Oblique aerial view centred on the suspension bridge, taken from the NW.
  • 1089331 (30/7/2007)
    Oblique aerial view centred on the suspension bridge, taken from the NNW.
  • 1089330 (30/7/2007)
    Oblique aerial view centred on the suspension bridge, taken from the NE.
  • 1112336 (20/5/2008)
    View from SSE
  • 1112335 (20/5/2008)
    View from NE
  • 1112334 (20/5/2008)
    Location view from NNW
  • 1112333 (20/5/2008)
    Bridge deck, view from S
  • 1112332 (20/5/2008)
    Bridge deck, view from S

MANUSCRIPTS

  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    Detail of wall at N end of bridge.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View from SE.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View of N abutment from SE.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View from NW.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View of N abutment from SE.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View of end column from N.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View of end column from N.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View of end column from S.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View across bridge from S.
  • 55698 (11/6/1980)
    View from SE.
  • 55698 ()
    3 sheets - map extracts 2 sheets - drawings 2 sheets - extract from 'A span of Bridges', H.J. Hopkins, 1970 10 b/w photographs - A/70839-48

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 55698 (1960)
    General view from E.
  • 55698 (1821)
    Photographic copy of drawing showing sketch perspective view.
  • 55698 (1880)
    Copy of historic photograph showing general view.
  • 55698 (1880)
    Copy of historic photograph showing general view.
  • 55698 (1880)
    Copy of historic photograph showing general view.

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Berwickshire, Sheet XXX (Inset XXXA)1858
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Roxburghshire, Sheet VIII1859

1st edition 25-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Berwick, Sheet 030.151858
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Roxburgh, Sheet 008.111859
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Roxburgh, Sheet 008.111859