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Charlestown, Bridge of Former Elgin Railway

A Category B Listed Building in Rosyth, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0369 / 56°2'12"N

Longitude: -3.5068 / 3°30'24"W

OS Eastings: 306213

OS Northings: 683696

OS Grid: NT062836

Mapcode National: GBR 1W.RQ3Q

Mapcode Global: WH5QY.3JCC

Entry Name: Charlestown, Bridge of Former Elgin Railway

Listing Date: 17 March 1978

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334886

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3755

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunfermline

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Rosyth

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Circa 1795. Coursed, sandstone rubble; roughly droved ashlar dressings and soffits. 3 segmental arches, metal tie plates over centre and S end arches; sloping buttress at S end, W side. Sandstone rubble parapet; rough rubble coping. Cobbled road. Steep drop to W, gentler slope to E. Built to carry former Elgin Railway.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with 1-90 Charlestown Village, exluding 36-37 and 52-55 Charlestown Village; Charlestown, Camsie House; Charlestown Harbour; Charlestown Harbour Road, Limekilns; Charlestown Village, K6 Telephone Kiosk; Charlestown Village, The Queen s Hall; Charlestown, 8, 10, 14, The Sutlery, 16, 18 Rocks Road; Charlestown, 12 Rocks Road, The Old School House; Charlestown, Rocks Road, Former Estate Workshop; Charlestown, Rocks Road, Old School. Construction of the Elgin Railway began in 1774. It was built to carry coal from the various pits situated near Dunfermline, to Limekilns where it was shipped away. A number of landlords who owned pits, or on whose land the proposed route of the railway fell, were involved in the construction of the railway, including Sir John Halkett of Pitfirrane, Robert Wellwood of Garvock and Pitliver and George Chalmers of Pittencrieff. In 1790 Earl Elgin took complete ownership of the railway. Initially the railway took the form of a wagonway with wooden rails and horse power. The wooden rails were replaced by iron and in 1852 steam engines provided the power. Coal was transported from pits at Berrielaw and Knockhouse, through Crossford, the Broomhall Estate and Limekilns to Limekilns Harbour with a branch to Brucehaven Harbour. The coal was then carted from Limekilns Harbour to the Charlestown limekilns. In 1795 work began to improve the route which resulted in the 3-arch bridge providing direct access to Charlestown Harbour with branches to the kiln head and to the Charlestown Brick and Tile Co works. The line was also used to carry passengers, the station was situated by Camsie House (formerly the Elgin Arms Inn). In 1863 the North British Railway bought the Elgin Railway and continued carrying freight only, until a passenger service was re-established with a station at Saltpans, to the E of Charlestown Harbour which continued until 1938. The Elgin Railway Bridge now carries a footpath. The numerous industrial activities which took place in and around Charlestown during the late 18th century have ceased but the retention of the bridge and its associated structures such as the limekilns and village serve as a reminder of the activities which created Charlestown; and the importance of Charlestown s history is enhanced by the survival of such structures.

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