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- HER number: MEL4961
- HER number: MEL5022
- Site Name: Newbattle Viaduct
- Grid Reference: 332697 664834
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: Railway viaduct, 1847
- Description: NT36SW 67 32595 64844.
This spectacular bridge/viaduct across the River South Esk, constructed at his expense, enabled the Marquis of Lothian to extend the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway S from Dalhousie Mains to his coal pits at Arniston. Stone pillars and cast iron Gothic arches supported the timber structure of the bridge, which was 1,011 ft. long.
J Thomas 1971.
There was considerable debate over the financing of thsi extensive viaduct, a structure which was necessary in order to bridge the River South Esk and access the Lothian and Dundas collieries. The Marquis of Lothian was reluctant to spend the money due to the fact that the Lothian estates were entailed and it was considered unsuitable for Dundas, who owned the Arniston estate, to pay. However, it was eventually built, after a delay of some four years.
M J Worling 1991.
This bridge across the River South Esk enabled the Marquis of Lothian to gain rail access to his colliery at Arniston after construction was completed in January 1832.
G Douglas, A Jervis, M McDonald, N Niblock and W Barr 1993.
This viaduct is clearly marked on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1854, sheet 13), on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1895, sheet viiiSW), on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1991) and on the OS Basic Scale raster map (ND).
The above sources do not concur over the ownership of the Arniston estate, Worling (1991) maintaining that it belonged to the Dundas family and the other sources placing the Arniston collieries in the hands of the Marquis of Lothian. The Lothian family owned the Newbattle estate and pits at Easthouses, Bryans and Lingerwood, all on the S side of the River South Esk, according to Worling, so would anyway have had a vested interest in extending the railway S of the river, regardless of the ownership of the Arniston colliery.
At NT 3282 6476 the viaduct carries the railway over a road which is clearly shown on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1854, sheeet 13) and on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1895, sheet viiiSW). It is shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1991) and on the OS Basic Scale raster map (ND) carrying the dismantled railway over the A7.
Information from RCAHMS (MD) 2 August 2001.
NMRS REPORT DATE: 16/02/2004
Completed in 1847 by John Miller, a long disused viaduct which carried the Waverley route from Edinburgh to Carlisle over the valley of the River South Esk to the north-west of Newtongrange. It comprises 23 rock-faced sandstone semi-circular arches, the piers of which have been reinforced with iron strappings. The viaduct passes over the river at its north-west end, the much longer pier being protected from the action of the river by deep curved cutwaters.
Information from RCAHMS
NMRS REPORT DATE: 10/03/2004 Historic Scotland Listed Building Ref: 1659/8/-
Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: John Miller, 1847. 23 semi-circular arches. Coursed, rock faced sandstone with brick voussoirs and soffits. Ashlar imposts, hoodmould to arch and band course. Tooled, coursed sandstone parapet with ashlar coping and metal railings. Reinforcing iron strappings along soffits and piers. Projecting stone base to piers and blind recessed arches in piers filled with coursed tooled sandstone. Skewed arch over road at SE end with stone voussoirs and flanking buttresses in rock faced sandstone. Tall arch with stepped buttresses towards NW in River South Esk.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Notes: The first railway viaduct at Lothianbridge was built in 1831 and is depicted on the 1st Edition OS Map as Newbattle Viaduct. The viaduct has also been known as South Esk Viaduct. It was built for North British Railways on the Waverley Route for the extension of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith line to Hawick. Noted by Queen Victoria as "a very fine viaduct along the South Esk".
Historic Scotland Listed Building References: Scottish Register House, NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY BOOKS, Construction Contract, May 1847, West Register House; 1st Edition OS Map, 1854; Queen Victoria, DIARY, 15/8/1872; 2nd Edition OS Map, 1907; J Hume, INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY OF SCOTLAND, Vol 1, 1976, p198; A Anderson, THE DEAN TAVERN, 1986; J Thomas, MIDLOTHIAN, 1995, p83.
(1) As part of a programme of archaeological works undertaken in advance of the construction of the Borders Railway, CFA carried out a Level 1 Historic Building Recording survey of Newbattle Viaduct in 2010.
- For more information contact: MidLothian Council HER
- Related Monuments:
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: Thomas, J. 1971. Scotland: the lowlands and borders. 232.
- : Paxton and Shipway, R and J. 2007. Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders,, London. 130-1.
- : Paxton and Shipway, R and J. 2007. Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders,, London. 130.
- Bibliographic reference: Anderson, A. 1986. The Dean Tavern: a Gothenburg experiment, Newtongrange.
- Bibliographic reference: Paxton, R. 1998a. An appraisal of Dalhousie viaduct 1830-46, Scotland's earliest known major iron and timber railway viaduct, Edinburgh.
- Bibliographic reference: Worling, M J. 1991. Early railways of the Lothians. 48.
- Bibliographic reference: Scottish Industrial Heritage Society. 1993. 'Innocents at work: a recording exercise on the former Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway', N British Railway Stud Group J Part 52 1993, p.23-7. 23.
- Bibliographic reference: Hume, J R. 1976. The industrial archaeology of Scotland. 198.
- (1) Unpublished document: Cressey, M. 2010. Borders Railway Project: Level 1 Standing Building Survey, Sites 26, 52, 78 & 328. Site 78.