History in Structure

Bridge, Purvies Hill Burn, Sunken Garden, Arniston House

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8201 / 55°49'12"N

Longitude: -3.0763 / 3°4'34"W

OS Eastings: 332657

OS Northings: 659067

OS Grid: NT326590

Mapcode National: GBR 61Y4.SG

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.QZ82

Plus Code: 9C7RRWCF+3F

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

Listing Name: Arniston Policies, Sunken Garden, Vehicular Bridge over Purvies Hill Burn

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391962

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45147

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200391962

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

Tagged with: Bridge

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Dated 1810. Semi-circular arched, single span bridge over Purvies Hill Burn. Random rubble; tooled arch-ring with long and short voussoirs. Datestone reading "1810" to centre of N elevation, below 17th century carved, scrolled mask; carved keystone to S elevation. Coped parapet with decorative iron railings bearing central thistle flanked by roses.

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 mask to the centre of the vehicular bridge, which marks the south-east corner of the sunken garden, possibly 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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