History in Structure

Footbridge, Purvies Hill Burn, Sunken Garden, Arniston House

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.821 / 55°49'15"N

Longitude: -3.077 / 3°4'37"W

OS Eastings: 332616

OS Northings: 659167

OS Grid: NT326591

Mapcode National: GBR 61Y4.M5

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.PYYD

Plus Code: 9C7RRWCF+C5

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

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

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391959

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45144

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200391959

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Footbridge

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Early 19th century with 17th century fragments; rebuilt 20th century. Flat arched, single span rustic bridge over Purvies Hill Burn.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 17th century carved stone parapet with rose to centre enclosed by strapwork, supported on carved corbel stones; carved foliated finial above. Angular stone upright to right; rectangular 17th century stone upright to left with advanced obelisk with spiked globe finial; single nailhead stones to each wing wall.

W ELEVATION: Segmental arched coped ashlar parapet, with central, carved scroll finial.

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 scrolled parapet (originally a lintel), rectangular upright (originally a finial on a doorway), nail head stones (originally uprights of door surround) and west parapet (originally part of a tympanum ornament) 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. The foliate finial may be medieval.

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