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Musselburgh, New Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Musselburgh, New Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) River Esk; Bridge Street; High Street; New Bridge, Musselburgh

Canmore ID 53921

Site Number NT37SW 81

NGR NT 34223 72642

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Inveresk (East Lothian)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT37SW 81 34223 72642

For (predecessor) Old Bridge (NT 34076 72537), see NT37SW 5.00.

New Bridge [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1989.

New Bridge [NAT]

OS (GIS) AIB, April 2006.


Architect: Sir John Rennie, 1806-7 (5 elliptic arches) (main road, Edinburgh to Berwick)

Newcutting (including Old Bridge), missing at time of upgrade, 30 September 2003


Scottish Records Office

RHP 8796 John Rennie 1803 - plans, elevations & sections (photocopy).

(Undated) information in NMRS.

The New Bridge over the Esk was designed in 1806 by John Rennie, with five arches and niched piers over rounded cutwaters. It was greatly widened in 1924 by Blyth & Blyth, without altering its appearance from either side.

C McWilliam 1978.

This bridge carries the former line of the A1(T) public road (now the A199) over the River Esk within the area of the town of Musselburgh (NT37SW 409), between Bridge Street (to the W) and High Street (to the E).

The location assigned to this record defines the centre of the structure, which apparently extends from NT c. 34195 72675 to NT c. 34248 72612.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 April 2006.


Modification (1925)

Widened on downstream side.

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)

This bridge over the Esk has five low-rise (one-tenth span) segmental arches with spans of 37 ft–46 ft and was

completed in 1808. It is built of freestone with an original width of 3412 ft before being widened in 1925 on the downstream side to 53 ft, carefully preserving the original facade stone-by-stone as can be seen in the view. A metal plaque on the north parapet of the bridge states that it ‘was built by John Rennie, Engineer, 1806. Repaired and widened 1924–25. Alexander Mitchell, Provost, Blyth & Blyth, Engineers, John Angus & Sons, Contractors’. The bridge was, and still is, notable for the low almost flat longitudinal profile of the road about 14 ft above the river, of which people exclaimed when they passed over it that they did not realise it was there! It is a fine example of a Rennie bridge.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

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


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