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Cockburnspath, Cromwell's Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Cockburnspath, Cromwell's Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Tower Burn; Cockburnspath Tower, Bridge; Old Tower Bridge

Canmore ID 58738

Site Number NT76NE 3

NGR NT 78457 69778

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT76NE 3 78457 69778

(NT 78457 69778) Cromwell's Bridge (NR)

OS 6" map, Berwickshire, 2nd ed., (1908).

For nearby Cockburnspath Tower, see NT76NE 2.00.

For successor Old Tower Bridge and New Tower Bridge, see NT76NE 34 and NT76NE 40 respectively.

Over a burn about 70 yards above Cockburnspath Tower (Berwick 1 SE 2) and at a short distance above the present road bridge, are the fragmentary remains of an old bridge, a ring of which remains entire. The arch, which is pointed, has a span of 10'9", is 3' in breadth on the west side and on the east side beyond the centre about 15". The masonry of the abutment on the west bank is in situ for 3' from the existing south edge of the arch, which must have been considerably wider than at present.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908.

'The approach to the castle (Cockburnspath Tower, Berwick 1 SE 2) from the east has been from a curious old bridle bridge, of which few suspect the existence, being hidden in the depths of the dean a little above the modern bridge.'

J Hardy 1882.

There are no masonry remains of this bridge, but at the published position, immediately under the present high-level bridge, there are two flat rocks in the shallow burn which may have formed bases of the bridge structure, as each has a hole sunk in it and has the appearance of having been used for such a purpose.

Mr George Taylor, Grieve at Chapelhill Farm, Cockburnspath, states that he well remembers 'Cromwell's Bridge'. It was, he says, a narrow stone bridge with a single pointed arch. It was badly damaged during the erection of the high-level bridge, about 1928/9, the destruction being completed by the recent floods.

Visited by OS (CJP) 25 September 1956.

The perforated flat rocks (Information from OS field surveyor (CJP) are concrete foundations of a workmens' plank bridge used during the construction of the high level bridge. A few feet downstream and about 10ft above the water there is a lump of earth with large stones which projects slightly from the left bank of the ravine. I take this to be the last remains of the core of the abutment.

There is nothing to be seen on the right bank.

Information in letter from Angus Graham to OS, 11 July 1962.

The only remaining fragment of Cromwell's Bridge is the lump of earth with large stones mentioned by Graham.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (EGC) 4 May 1966.

This bridge is the earliest of the three bridges that are recorded as having carried roads across the Tower Burn at roughly this location, the others being entered as NT76NE 34 and NT76NE 40. Some of the accounts of slight remains that have been linked to this bridge appear misleading.

The recorded location of this bridge lies 70m SSW of the tower-house NT76NE 2 and NT76NE 80 m ENE of New Tower Bridge (NT76NE 40).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 2 February 2006.


Sbc Note

Visibility: This was the site of an archaeological monument, which may no longer be visible.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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