|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Newtown St Boswells|
|late 18th Century, 1939|
There are two bridges across the Teviot near Ancrum, The Old Ancrum Bridge and the New Ancrum Bridge. Both are three arch structures, and whilst at least 150 years separates their construction, the similarities do not end there.
The Old Ancrum Bridge
Little seems to be known of the construction of the old bridge here. It appears to be of late 18th Century date, and records suggest that it replaced an earlier structure.
The bridge itself consists of 3 stone arches, the northern two spanning across the river, while the southern arch is a flood arch on the bank. The piers rise from pointed cutwaters to form triangular pedestrian refuges, with the parapets stepping down on either side over the flanking arches which sit slightly lower than the central span. This results in a slightly humped profile to the roadway.
The bridge is almost wide enough for two cars to pass, and is still open as a private road access to the sportsground on the north side of the river. The parapets continue at either end, opening out to the width of the refuges and terminating at 3 of the 4 corners with round piers topped with very large conical finials. These are reminiscent of the obelisks mounted on Wade's Aberfeldy Bridge over the Tay, but clearly do not serve the same purpose.
The New Ancrum Bridge
Just a few metres downstream, the new bridge seems to be constructed as a plainer copy of its predecessor. The structure is concrete, but clad in stone similar to the old bridge. The cutwaters again rise to the tops of the parapets to provide refuges, although in this case they are semi-hexagonal on the roadside, despite forming triangles outside. The bridge is, of course, much wider in order to carry both carriageways of the busy A68, flanked by wide pavements, and it is also built on the skew so that the refuges are not directly opposite each other.
Constructed in 1939, along with a lengthy new approach alignment from the south, there are hints that the bridge was not easy to build, with a report entitled 'problems of construction' by the bridge's engineer!