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This building is in the Scottish Borders Council and the Coldstream Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 09/06/1971.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 8488 4013.


John Smeaton, 1763-66; 20th century alterations. Road bridge with 5 segmental-arch and 2 side flood arches crossing border between Scotland and England on A698 over River Tweed. 4 battered semi-octagonal cutwaters between arches with triple projecting keystones and decorative ashlar edged oculi to spandrels. Plain dentilled cornice to parapet base. Squared and dressed sandstone; random whin rubble to roundel oculi. Cantilevered concrete footpaths to either side of roadway (1960-1).


A group with the Marriage House (see separate listing). A very fine example of an 18th century bridge design by pre eminent civil engineer John Smeaton, his first example of a bridge executed in fine dressed sandstone with classical detailing and forming a prominent structure in the landscape of the border between Scotland and England. The bridge is a seminal example of British civil engineering significantly influencing the design and construction of bridges of this period and beyond. John Smeaton, (1724-1792) is highly regarded as making a significant contribution to the built heritage of the 18th century through his broad engineering prowess which spanned a wide spectrum to included bridges, mills, lighthouses, canals, harbours as well as major contributions to engineering science. He is widely renowned as Britain¿s first civil engineer and responsible for many important innovative structures such as the third Eddystone lighthouse (1755-9) which was to become the prototype for all masonry lighthouses built in the open sea. During this project he identified the compositional requirements needed to create hydraulic lime which allowed mortar to be more efficiently used under water. Smeaton is known for 4 prominent bridges, Coldstream, Hexham, Perth and Banff, Coldstream being the first where he adopted the roundel oculi detailing which was to become his hallmark on subsequent bridges. From the mid 18th century the design of major bridges developed lighter structures with flatter arches. In Coldstream the main arches were all built the same size to save on shuttering costs. The architect Robert Reid of Haddington, who had prepared initial designs for the bridge in 1762, became local overseer of the project built to Smeaton's plans. It was Smeaton's second design which incorporated ornament and detailing from Reid's earlier plan. Work began in July 1763 and the bridge was opened to traffic on October 28th 1766. Coldstream Bridge was commissioned by local road trustees and the Tweed Bridges Trust costing £6000 and spanning 173 metres. The bridge toll house (Marriage House, see separate listing) was built separately by Robert Reid with a second storey below road level to form a house for himself arguing that the two storey structure would help support the bridge structure. Smeaton supported this theory when the road trustees disapproved of Reid's plan for his own house. The cottage was often used for elopements due to its location and became known as the Marriage House. The bridge has undergone 20th century alterations including strengthening its piers and rebuilding the parapet in 1922 and renewing its internal structure, provision of reinforcing concrete relieving arches and the widening of the roadway with cantilevered footpaths in 1960-61. The alterations however are subtle and do not detract from the imposing character of the original 18th century bridge design. The weir slightly downstream was added c1784. Formally a Scheduled Monument, de - scheduled (July 2012). List description updated 2012 following descheduling. That part of the bridge in England is also listed and included in the list for Cornhill o Tweed Parish, Northumberland.


K Cruft, J Dunbar and R Fawcett -The Buildings of Scotland, Borders¿ (2006) p186. J Hume ¿The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, 1. The Lowlands and Borders' (1976) p78. C Strang, Borders and Berwick, (1994) p72. www.rcahms.gov.uk www.scran.co.uk.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).