Edinburgh, Duddingston Road West, Braid Burn Railway Bridge

Railway Bridge

Site Name Edinburgh, Duddingston Road West, Braid Burn Railway Bridge

Classification Railway Bridge

Alternative Name(s) Edinburgh And Dalkeith Railway; Innocent Railway; Formerly Lin 23; Prestonfield

Canmore ID 81174

Site Number NT27SE 553

NGR NT 28617 72083

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 553 28617 72083

See also NT27SE 3979, NT27SE 589, NT27SE 2735, NT27SE 4356, NT27SE 4360, NT27SE 4417, NT27SE 4418.

This bridge, made of cast iron and straddling the Braid Burn, was constructed, erected and painted in March 1831 by the Shotts Iron Company. It cost £133.10s.0d. There is considerable historical and technological interest in the cast iron beams as they furnish the earliest extant examples in the world of their particular type.

A survey undertaken on 5 and 6 September 1992 by the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society shows that the bridge possesses three major beams and a minor beam on the upstream side. It is probable that the central section of the existing arrangement is made from wooden sleepers belonging to the railway. As regards the outer sections, which are now part of the footpath/cycleway, these may be replacements for a former deck. It would seem from the way the abutments on the downstream side of the bridge are arranged that there was a double track line before 1847. As the lugs for the tie bolts are 'eccentric to each other', it is obvious that the rails have been shifted and re-aligned. The reason for this is probably the guage change and reduction to single track which occurred in 1847. There is only a single track shown crossing the bridge in the 25 inch OS map of 1893 (Edinburghshire sheet III.12).

Generally speaking there are uniform sized flanges on the main inverted T-section beams, with the top flange having a longitudinally convex shape. The equi-spaced braces taper from top to bottom, being noticeably wider at the top. It is difficult to measure the overall length of the upstream L-section beam as its ends are embedded in the abutments. However, the exposed section gives a clear picture of an upper edge which is also longitudinally convex, and 'formed by a three-centred arch.' The ends of this L-section beam are probably rounded, whereas the main beams have square ends.

G Douglas, A Jervis, M McDonald, N Niblock and W Barr 1993.

This bridge is visible on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1855, sheet 6), on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1895, sheet ivSW), on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1989) and on the OS Basic Scale digital map (2000).

Information from RCAHMS (MD), 19 July 2001.

Photographed by RCAHMS during the reinstatement of the bridge in 2001.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

This bridge is depicted, but not noted, on the current edition of the OS (GIS) AIB.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), May 2006.

NT 2861 7208 A standing building survey was carried out in October 2005 to record the remains of a stone-built bridge crossing the Braid Burn at Duddingston. The existing bridge is part of a larger crossing over the Braid Burn. This bridge is integral to a cast-iron skew rail bridge constructed in March 1831 by the Shotts Iron Company (NT27SE 553). The railway now forms the cycle route of the former Edinburgh to Dalkeith Coal Railway, known locally as the Innocent Railway. The results confirmed that the bridge has a single segmented arch, surmounted by a parapet topped by ashlar

coping stones. Breaks in build at each end of the existing parapet were at one time part of a longer stone boundary wall, depicted on the 1855 1st edition OS map.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Gregor Properties.

M Cressey 2005

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