Musselburgh, Old Bridge / River Esk, Roman Bridge
- HER number: MEL252
- Site Name: Musselburgh, Old Bridge / River Esk, Roman Bridge
- Grid Reference: 334076 672537
- Civil Parish:
- Monument Type:
- Summary: 16th century bridge
- Description: NT37SW 5.00 3407 7254
NT37SW 5.01 c. 3406 7254 gatehouse (possible)
(NT 3407 7254) Old Bridge (NR)
OS 6" map (1958)
Musselburgh Old Bridge, of 3 arches, with cut-waters, measuring 248' in length by c. 14' over the parapets. It may well have been built, as is traditionally said, by Jane, Lady Seton, who died in 1558. It may incorporate part of a stone bridge that was certainly standing in 1547, supposing this to have been subsequently damaged or destroyed, as might have occurred, for example, in 1548, when Musselburgh was burned by the English. Stirling records that during repairs in 1809, 'the face of one of the buttresses' was opened up and 'inside the outer building, remains of still older masonry resting on transverse oaken beams was found.'
An act was passed for the repair of a bridge at Musselburgh in 1597; it was again before parliament in 1625 and 1639, and repairs are mentioned frequently in Town Council records of the 17th century and later.
RCAHMS 1929, visited 1920; A Graham 1965.
Visited by OS (BS) 14 August 1975
A watching brief was carried out during the excavation of an engineering trial pit over the centre arch of the medieval bridge. The pit showed that all old road surfaces had been removed and replaced with modern concrete and sand over the original stone bridge structure.
Sponsor: Jones Solas Partnership
M Collard 1992.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: Early 16th century, repaired 1597, 3 segmental arches (2
over the river and 1 out of alignment and over low land,
probably added in 1597) with drip-stones, coursed rubble.
V-plan cut waters with refuges over southern pair. Stepped
approach at each end, step at north end set within splayed
and battered bridgehead.
This bridge crosses the River Esk within the area of the town of Musselburgh (NT37SW 409). The location assigned to this record defines the centre of the structure, which apparently extends from NT c. 34064 72548 to NT c. 34097 72510.
Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 April 2006.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Bibliographic reference: Eddington, A. 1904. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century ... contemporary biographies. 46.
- Bibliographic reference: Collard, M. 1992b. 'Old 'Roman' Bridge, Musselburgh (Inveresk parish): medieval bridge', Discovery Excav Scot 1992, p.50. 50.
- Bibliographic reference: Stirling, R McD. 1894. Inveresk parish lore from pagan times. 37.
- : Paxton and Shipway, R and J. 2007. Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders,, London. 124.
- Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1929. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Tenth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. 90, No.120.
- Bibliographic reference: Graham, A. 1965. 'Archaeology on a great post road', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 96 1962-3, p.318-47. 340-1.