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Traquair House Policies, Bridge on East Drive

A Category B Listed Building in Traquair, Scottish Borders

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6066 / 55°36'23"N

Longitude: -3.0622 / 3°3'43"W

OS Eastings: 333180

OS Northings: 635285

OS Grid: NT331352

Mapcode National: GBR 731M.V1

Mapcode Global: WH6VD.XBZS

Entry Name: Traquair House Policies, Bridge on East Drive

Listing Date: 12 August 2003

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396909

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49397

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Traquair

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Tweeddale East

Traditional County: Peeblesshire

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Traquair

Description

1880 for Hon. Henry Constable Maxwell Stuart (16th Laird). 2-span segmental-arched bridge of hybrid style (vernacular, classical and castellated) terminating in large cylindrical piers. Coursed whinstone with red sandstone dressings (including courses, copes, corbelled battlements, date stones and ball finials).

N AND S ELEVATIONS: rusticated red sandstone abutments supporting pair of segmental arches with rusticated red sandstone voussoirs; central pier (of similar material) terminating in diamond cutwater, moulded date stone (1880) plaque inset to centre of whinstone spandrels; plain whinstone elevation with projecting red sandstone band course (with drainage pipes regularly placed above) with matching plain coping surmounting parapet of bridge. Terminating to W in pair of cylindrical coursed whinstone piers with semi-circular caps supporting large ashlar ball finials; terminating to E in pair of cylindrical coursed whinstone piers with corbel course supporting battlemented parapet (band course and parapet coping continuous around inner arches of terminating piers). Tarmac road surface with side gutters leading to drainage pipes.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Traquair House, Exedra, Lodge on East Drive, Summerhouse, Tea room, Office, Craft Workshops, Walled Garden, Gardener's Cottage, Bear Gates and Avenuehead Cottages. This bridge was erected as part of estate improvements in the later 19th century. Traquair House was under the tenure of the Hon. Henry Constable Maxwell Stuart (16th Laird) during this time and although he spent most of his time at Scarthingwell Hall, Yorkshire, Traquair was extensively used during the shooting season. He had inherited the estate from his cousin Lady Louisa in 1876 and assumed the name of Stuart. Until this period, the main form of formal access had been down the drive adjacent to the Bear Gates Avenue; an informal route led down towards Gardener's Acre. The east of the estate was given over to trees and a bleaching green and wash house; this had no formal means of access other than from the house and court of outbuildings adjacent to the walled garden. It was necessary for visitors to the estate to journey through Traquair Village if coming from Innerleithen or the East. A ford was provided over the Quair Water to the north east of the house but this was not a favoured entry to the grounds. A drive was planned to the east of the house. It followed the original route to the bleaching green (which was then no longer in use) and then arched gently towards the Quair Water. When it reached here it was necessary to build a formal bridge rather than a ford, which could not be relied on if the water was to rise too high. This bridge was finished just before the lodge but they are both of similar style, both employing battlemented circular forms (the piers on the bridge and the tower on the lodge) carried on corbels. As well as providing amenities for the newly constructed East Drive, the bridge and the Lodge were built as landscape features and trees and shrubs were planted to enhance their situation. The bridge is sited at the north end of Mill Haugh Park and still affords a view down it even with the new woodland strip that was planted at its time of erection. Between the bridge and the lodge there is dense planting of yew, rhododendron and privet together with larger trees from an earlier period. By concealing the structures, this maintains the surprise when the visitor comes across the bridge and lodge, as well as providing deliberate scenic views out across the landscape from on the bridge. The bridge contains dated red sandstone plaques on the walls of the central piers. Drainage is an integral part of the structure, excess water flowing from a series of pipes set just above the projecting band course, which signifies the level of the road. The west piers terminate in ball finials with the east piers rise into battlemented turrets which correspond with the turret on the lodge. Together with the lodge, the bridge is important, as they are both good examples of the late 19th century development of the estate.

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