North Bridge (Edinburgh)
|North Bridge (Edinburgh)|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Old Town, Edinburgh|
|To:||New Town Edinbrgh|
| 1772 (1st Bridge)|
1887 (2nd Bridge)
The North Bridge links Edinburgh's New Town to the Old Town. It is on the A7 just south of the busy East End Junction and passes above Edinburgh Waverley railway station and Market Street, meeting the High Street by the old Tron Kirk. The present bridge has four lanes for most of its length (two used for buses), and comprises three steel arches on stone piers with cast-iron decoration. A large war memorial is situated on the east side.
One of the longstanding principles of Edinburgh's town planning has been to consider sight-lines and panoramas across the city, and thanks to restrictions on building around the bridge, it offers excellent views east to Salisbury Crags and Calton Hill and west over Princes Street and the city more widely.
Edinburgh had been planning a New Town to the north of the Old from the early 18th century. At the time, connections from the Old Town to the north were very poor, due to the geography of Edinburgh which alternated hills and marshy valleys. The logical location for a crossing was determined by the slope of the Royal Mile, downhill from west to east, and the location of the Nor' Loch and Calton Hill to the north.
The original bridge was built by William Mylne beginning in 1763, and required demolishing buildings in the vicinity of the Tron Church in Edinburgh's Old Town. Unfortunately, the new bridge fell down in 1769 before it had even been finished, killing 5 people, and considerable litigation followed. Mylne's bridge was finally completed in 1772. This design was built in stone with 3 large arches in the middle and additional smaller arches at the side.
The current bridge was built in 1896-7 by engineers Blyth and Westland.