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Edinburgh, Union Canal, Fountainbridge Lifting Bridge

Canal Bridge (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Union Canal, Fountainbridge Lifting Bridge

Classification Canal Bridge (19th Century)

Canmore ID 178600

Site Number NT27SW 3133

NGR NT 24616 72924

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images


Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SW 3133 NT 2461 7293.

In order to permit the passage of boats, the deck of this electrically operated bridge, termed a 'Leamington Bridge', was raised between gantries sited at each side of the road. When the city basins were closed in 1922 it was re-sited at Gilmore Park (see NT27SW 88).

G Hutton 1993.

This bridge is clearly visible on the 1st Edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1855, sheet 2).

Information from RCAHMS (MD) 23 January 2001.


Construction (1906)

Designed by Sir W G Armstrong-Whitworth. originally constructed at Fountainbridge, moved 1922.

Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

Leamington Lift Bridge is the only surviving example of an electrical lifting bridge on the Union Canal. It was designed by Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth of Newcastle for the canal owners, the North British Railway, and installed in ca. 1906, not at this site but at Fountainbridge as a replacement for a lift bridge of 1869 [see RCAHMS NT27SW 3133]. This was the next road crossing to the north, just before the terminal basins of Port Hamilton and Port Hopetoun. Because of the decline in canal traffic, these basins were closed and filled in by 1922 and, as the canal then ended south of Fountainbridge, the bridge was dismantled in November 1922 and later re-erected at its present site. Twin portals of riveted steel box sections support the lifting mechanism and deck during operation, house the motors and keep the deck in position as it is raised and lowered. The navigational headroom is 9 ft. The bridge, after finally ceasing to operate in the 1960s, was refurbished as part of the Millennium Link Project and has been in regular use since its re-opening on 22 March 2005. It is the first bridge west of the new terminal facility at Lochrin Basin.

R Paxton and S Shipway 2007

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


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