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Adjacent building, view from south-east

E 5945

Description Adjacent building, view from south-east

Date 31/7/2001

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number E 5945

Category Photographs and Off-line Digital Images

Copies SC 678606, SC 1935848

Scope and Content Depot and Bridge No 23, Drumshoreland, Union Canal, West Lothian, from east This shows a pedalo boat docked in the basin beside Bridge No 23, which was designed by Baird and built around 1820. The bridge has a large segmental arch and a string-course which runs along the base of the stone parapet. Bridges on public highways had stone parapets whereas bridges on subsidiary or estate roads had railed parapets. The adjacent building has three oculi (in this case, literally eye-shaped windows) and a bricked-up opening which may originally have been a hatch which gave access into a store area. This building may originally have been used to store tow ropes or other apparatus that was needed on the canal. It may also have been a building where cargo could have been safely stored overnight from barges docked in the adjoining basin. The canal ranger and British Waterways Scotland now have offices beside this bridge. The government authorised the construction of the Union Canal in 1817 and appointed Hugh Baird (1770-1827) as the chief engineer. The main purpose of the canal was to provide an economical route for the transportation of coal and lime between Edinburgh and Glasgow via the Forth & Clyde Canal (1768-90). The 51km-long canal was opened in 1822 at a cost of £461,760, almost double the estimate, and it ran from Lock 16 at Camelon, Falkirk to Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Except where the two canals are joined at Falkirk, the canal was built with no locks because it followed the contours of the hills. The Union Canal was closed in 1965, two years after the Forth & Clyde Canal, and the construction of new roads meant that it was impossible for boats to travel along the full length of these watercourses. However, the £84.5m Millennium Link project enabled both canals to reopen in 2002. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


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