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Fogo Bridge

Road Bridge (17th Century)

Site Name Fogo Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Blackadder Water

Canmore ID 58482

Site Number NT74NE 1

NGR NT 76981 49203

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Fogo
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Accessing Scotland's Past Project

Fogo Bridge was first constructed in 1641, and rebuilt in 1843. Crossing the Blackadder Water, it is still one of the main routes in and out of the village of Fogo. The bridge crosses the river in a single arch, and is built of sandstone rubble masonry.

There are sandstone panels on both the north and south parapets; the northern one bears the date of construction along with the initials I.C.M.D; a reference to James Cockburn of Chouslie and Marion Douglas, the parents of Sir James Cockburn of Ryslaw who built the bridge. This panel also bears the coat of arms of Sir James Cockburn of Ryslaw, and that of his wife, Marie Edmonstone, and a Latin inscription dedicating the bridge. The panel on the south parapet records repairs carried out in 1843.

Text prepared by RCAHMS as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past project

Archaeology Notes

NT74NE 1 76981 49203.

(NT 7698 4920) Fogo bridge is a single-span bridge, added to on the south side in modern times.

On the outer side of the north parapet there is an oramental panel bearing the inscription 'I.C.M.D. 1641', commemorating the parents of Sir James Cockburn, who built the bridge.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1913.

Fogo bridge is as described above and is in good condition. A panel on the S side states "Repaired 1843"; a second panel on the north side also bears the date '1641'.

Visited by ODS(RD) 22 July 1970.


Field Visit (27 April 1913)

160. Fogo Bridge.

This bridge (fig. 83 [DP 225414]) spans the Blackadderwater at a point some 3 miles to the south of Duns. It consists of a single arch of segmental form measuring some 40 feet in width and 20 feet in height from the level of the roadway to the surface of the water. The side parapets have originally been some 10 feet apart, but in modern times the bridge has been added to on the south side, making a total width of about 17 feet 6 inches. On the outer side of the north parapet immediately over the crown of the arch there is an ornamental panel measuring 2 feet 8 inches by 2 feet 7 inches. Carved on it in relief below the upper margin, and in one line, are the letters I·C·M·D and the date 1641. In the central portion are two carved shields bearing arms: Dexter, A heart between three cocks, two and one, within a bordure; Sinister, Three crescents within a bordure. Above the lower margin is an inscription of incised Romanlettering which bears the legend - COKBVRNVS FECIT / NOMEN ET IPSE DEDIT / RYSLAV.

The initials I·C·M·D are those of James Cockburn of Chouslie and his wife Marion Douglas, the parents of Sir James Cockhurn of Ryslaw, who built the bridge and whose arms are on the dexter shield. The arms on the sinister shield are supposed to be intended for Marie Edmonstone, wife of Sir James Cockburn of Ryslaw.

See Records of the Cockburn Family, p. 26.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 27th April 1913.

OS Map: Ber, xxii. NW.

Sbc Note

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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