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Peebles To Symington Junction Railway, Neidpath Viaduct

Railway Viaduct (19th Century)

Site Name Peebles To Symington Junction Railway, Neidpath Viaduct

Classification Railway Viaduct (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) River Tweed; Peebles, Neidpath Viaduct

Canmore ID 131260

Site Number NT24SW 80

NGR NT 23283 40195

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Peebles
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Tweeddale
  • Former County Peebles-shire

Archaeology Notes

NT24SW 80 23283 40195

For associated railway tunnel (adjacent to E), see NT24SW 163.

Not to be confused with nearby Lyne Viaduct (NT 20946 40006), for which see NT24SW 109.

(Location cited as NT 233 4020) Viaduct, Neidpath, opened 1864 by the Symington, Biggar and Broughton Rly. A superb seven-span curved skew viaduct in a magnificent setting. The construction is similar to that at Lyne Station (NT23NW 114).

J R Hume 1976.

Neidpath Viaduct. This very handsome structure remains extant, and crosses 32ft [9.8m] above the River Tweed on eight ashlar skew arches, each ofg 32ft 6ins [9.9m] span. The curve of the line at this point had a radius of 440yds [402.4,]. Cast-iron railings topped the bridge, and signal cables ran along the parapets.

The bridge was designed by Robert Murray (who lived in Peebles, at Damdale) and George Cunningham (Consultant Engineer to the Caledonian Rly).

R Marshall 2005.

This viaduct formerly carried the Symington-Peebles branch line of the Caledonian Rly over the River Tweed to the SW of Neidpath Castle (NT24SW 22). This line closed to regular passenger traffic on 5 June 1950.

The location assigned to this record defines the centre of the structure. Map evidence indicates that it extends from NT c. 23240 40159 to c. 23326 40214.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 January 2006.

G Daniels and L Dench 1980.

Site Management (3 November 2011)

Opened 1864 for the Caledonian Railway. Skewed 8-span former railway viaduct crossing the River Tweed. Rock-faced ashlar spandrels and voussoirs. Low stone parapets with cast-iron intermediate parapets. Originally this viaduct carried the railway line to Symington, Biggar & Broughton. As this viaduct was sited to the west of Peebles, it was built and owned by the Caledonian Railway. The Bridge was known as the "Queen's Bridge" and formed part of the main Glasgow-Carlisle line. Originally, a line had been proposed by the Caledonian Railway in 1846 but had met with fierce opposition in Parliament by the North British Railway (who ran the line to the East of Peebles). Subsequently the line was delayed until permission was granted to the Syminton Biggar and Broughton Railway (who had been funded by the Caledonian Company) to construct it. By the time the line was opened, the SB & B Railway had been absorbed into the larger Caledonian Railway. The architect of the bridge is said to have carved a rough builder's model from a turnip. The viaduct remained in use until the early 1960s although the passenger service ended in June 1950. The viaduct now forms part of a Peebles town walk. Listed due to its fine masonry, ironwork and its unusual skew plan. (Historic Scotland)


Publication Account (2007)

Sometimes known as The Queen’s Bridge, this magnificent viaduct built over the Tweed in 1863 on the former

Symington, Biggar & Broughton Railway (from 1866 the Caledonian Railway) is one of the finest examples of

skewed-arch construction in Scotland. It has eight arches on a curve of 20 chains (1320 ft) and is 15 ft wide.

Opened in February 1864, the single track viaduct and tunnel were designed in 1861 by Bruce & Cunningham,

Edinburgh consulting engineers. The contractor was Neidpath Viaduct William Scott, Kilmarnock. The intricate and detailed calculations made early in 1863 for the skewed freestone masonry and the erection of the viaduct have survived.

They were made by resident engineer Robert Murray at the Damdale site office, Peebles. The tunnel is 537 yards long of which all but 8 yards is lined in 18 in. brickwork. It has ashlar fac¸ades, is 18 ft high and 1714

ft wide. Excavation in whinstone and sand cost 7/6d per cubic yard and the price per lineal yard of tunnel with brickwork was charged at £231 4s, and for 18 in. ashlar at £50 2s 4d, making £14 431 6s 8d in total. The railway was closed in 1954 and the viaduct is now part of a heritage trail.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.

Sbc Note (15 April 2016)

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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