History in Structure

Footbridge, Purvies Hill Burn, Sunken Garden, Arniston House

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8203 / 55°49'13"N

Longitude: -3.0763 / 3°4'34"W

OS Eastings: 332660

OS Northings: 659089

OS Grid: NT326590

Mapcode National: GBR 61Y4.SD

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.QY9Y

Plus Code: 9C7RRWCF+4F

Entry Name: Footbridge, Purvies Hill Burn, Sunken Garden, Arniston House

Listing Name: Arniston Policies, Sunken Garden, Rustic Bridge to East over Purvies Hill Burn

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391958

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45143

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200391958

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Early 19th century with 17th century fragments. Depressed arched, single span rustic bridge over Purvies Hill Burn.

N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: droved and tooled coped ashlar with 17th century keystone bearing carved mask and pendant; nail head stone to left and right wing walls. Rusticated ashlar basket arched 17th century parapet to S (facing N); channelled voussoirs continued to jambs; flanked by carved Doric pilaster capitals and fluted pilaster tops; keystone bearing carved, scrolled mask.

S ELEVATION: tooled arch ring; tooled coping below polished parapet.

Statement of Interest

The sunken garden, to the south of Arniston House, is a highly original example of informal garden planning. Separated from the house by steeply sloping parkland, it runs either side of Purvies Hill Burn, although the garden ornaments are primarily on the north bank. Originally the ornamental urns, benches and bridges were surrounded by informal clusters of trees and plants. These were replaced by more formal carpet bedding, although today the garden ornaments themselves are all that survive (1997). The 17th century rusticated arch, nail head stones and carved masks originated on Parliament House, Edinburgh, which was re faced by Robert Reid in 1803. Lord Chief Baron Robert Dundas (1758-1819) brought cartloads of the architectural fragments from Parliament house, where they "were treated as mere rubbish" (Arniston Memoirs p297), to Arniston where they were incorporated into picturesque structures in the walled and sunken gardens (see separate listings). Other fragments were acquired by famous writer and antiquarian Walter Scott for his house at Abbotsford.

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