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Arniston Policies, Rustic Bridge No 6 over River South Esk

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8235 / 55°49'24"N

Longitude: -3.0844 / 3°5'3"W

OS Eastings: 332155

OS Northings: 659450

OS Grid: NT321594

Mapcode National: GBR 61X3.08

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.LWFH

Entry Name: Arniston Policies, Rustic Bridge No 6 over River South Esk

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391955

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45140

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

Early 19th century. Double span, rusticated bridge over River South Esk. Droved ashlar arch ring with moulded extrados; broached spandrels; convex banded central pier, abutments and splayed wing walls, flanked by V jointed rusticated pilasters and terminal piers. Coursed broached parapet with ashlar coping (missing in places).

Statement of Interest

For clarity, the rustic bridges outside the Sunken Garden, designed to encourage growth of mosses and ferns, are numbered 1 to 6 from east to west along Purvies Hill Burn and River South Esk. The gardens at Arniston began with a large walled garden which was part of the original house of circa 1620. No major changes occurred until William Adam was taken on, under Robert Dundas 3rd Lord Arniston (1685-1753), in 1726. In addition to designing the house he was also responsible for the layout of the grounds. Adam's arrangement (which seems to have been carried out to the south) mixed the formal with the informal, and comprised a bastioned parterre, wilderness, great avenue, cascade and basin. From the 1750's there was long period of improvement, principally involving the informalising of the grounds. John Adam, who continued with work on the house and grounds where his father had stopped, was responsible for some of the changes. By 1764 the parterre and cascade had gone. In 1791 Thomas White designed an improvement/informalisation plan for the Arniston grounds, and although little of this was actually carried out the gardens did become more informal towards the beginning of the 19th century. The Wild Garden, where the rustic bridges can be found, was established some time after the 1760's. The 18th century maps aren't detailed enough to show exactly when the bridges were in place, although they do appear on the 1860 plan of the Pleasure grounds, RHP 5246/15, but are likely to be of an earlier date. The Wild Garden is separated from the house by steeply sloping parkland, and runs either side of Purvies Hill Burn with various garden ornaments and bridges. The burn continues westwards, towards the rustic Grotto (see separate listing), the path, which runs along its banks, winding through woodland, over the many moss covered rustic bridges.

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