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DEAN BRIDGE AT QUEENSFERRY ROAD (Ref:27941)

This building is in the Edinburgh, City Of Council and the Edinburgh Burgh. It is a category A building and was listed on 15/06/1965.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 24283 73973.

Description

Thomas Telford, 1829-31; later alterations to parapets, 1912. Prominent segmental arched 4-span road bridge with plain classical detailing. Sandstone ashlar. 4 large semi-circular arches set beneath larger segmental arches, springform narrow, hollow rectangular section piers supporting footway. Moulded band course with plain parapet over. Small cast-iron fleur-de-lys to parapet copes.

Notes

Large scale, high-level road bridge carrying a main arterial route into the West End of Edinburgh over the Water of Leith. A late stone bridge design by Thomas Telford spanning a deep gorge, making a dramatic entry into the city. The bridge includes many engineering innovations including hollow piers, to reduce the weight of the structure, which Telford first used at Pont Cysyllte (Rolt). An original 3-span design had to be abandoned because of difficulties in driving the foundations. One of the original designs also included further decorative features such as castellated approaches (linking to the idea of a bridge as the gateway to the city) and decorative spandrels which were never executed. The parapets were made higher in 1912 to try and prevent people jumping off. The bridge was provided by Lord Provost John Learmonth with the assistance of the Cramond Road Trustees. It appears that Learmonth funded most of the construction himself, although it was the Cramond Road Trustees who stipulated that the bridge should be designed by Thomas Telford. Learmonth's provision of funds was not a wholly public spirited gesture as the bridge gave better access to his lands to the N of the Western New Town and provided the potential to develop the area around Learmonth Terrace. Although publically the bridge was a success it did not have the immediate effect for which Learmonth had hoped, with the first feus in Clarendon Crescent (see separate listing) not being taken up until 1850. Despite the lack of immediate development to the north of the bridge, it provided a key high level arterial route into the city, avoiding the steep gradients at the Dean Village (see separate listing) and Bell's Mills bridges. Thomas Telford was one of the most influential and innovative engineers of the 19th century. He built a number of major bridges, most famously Iron Bridge in Shropshire and the Menai Straits both of which were major engineering innovations. He worked mainly on roads in Scotland, building a number of important bridges including an unusual circular arch road bridge at Bannockburn (see separate listing). The Dean Bridge design used a similar design to a smaller bridge he built at Lothian Bridge (1827 -1831) near Pathhead in Midlothian (see separate listing). (List description revised 2009 as part of re-survey.)

References

James Kay, Kay's Plan of Edinburgh (1836); Ordnance Survey, Large Scale Town Plan, (1849 -53); J Gifford, C McWilliam, D M Walker, The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (1988) p. 387; John Hume, The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, 1, Lowlands and Borders, (1985); LTC Rolt, Thomas Telford, (1979); BC Skinner, The Origins of the Dean Bridge Project, The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, No. 30 (1959).

© 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.

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