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Bridge, Halbeath Tramway, Inverkeithing

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0339 / 56°2'2"N

Longitude: -3.3951 / 3°23'42"W

OS Eastings: 313166

OS Northings: 683211

OS Grid: NT131832

Mapcode National: GBR 20.RZ30

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.TLGP

Plus Code: 9C8R2JM3+HX

Entry Name: Bridge, Halbeath Tramway, Inverkeithing

Listing Name: Boreland Road, Bridge over Keithing Burn, Halbeath Waggon Way and Railway

Listing Date: 4 August 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397638

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49935

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Town: Inverkeithing

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Mr Peddie, 1829; later 19th and 20th century alterations. Double span, segmental arch (spanning Keithing Burn) and round arch (spanning former Halbeath Waggon Way) bridge; square sandstone rubble with dressed voussoirs. Square bull-faced sandstone rubble to additional square span over Dunfermline & Queensferry Railway line added to W in 1877; further altered in 1890 for Forth Bridge Railway. Random rubble end wings. Upper roadway widened in late 20th century with overhanging concrete eaves and trusses; steel reinforcement fixing-rods.

Statement of Interest

Although considerably altered at road level, the bridge at Boreland Road is the most tangible evidence still in existence of the former Halbeath Waggon Way, an important early wooden railway line of the late 18th century. In addition, various late 19th century alterations to this bridge also represent the history of railway communications at this period, in particular the advent of the Forth Bridge Railway (1883-1890). An additional span (to E Waggon Way span) accommodating an off-shoot of Inverkething Burn was later in-filled (date unknown). Stephen notes that an archway for the Halbeath Waggon Way was inserted somewhat later into the bridge that already spanned the burn; physical evidence would seem to contradict Stephen however as the main Boreland Road Bridge spans share the same construction. Boreland Road was first opened in 1784 and it is probably at this time that a bridge known as the Mill Bridge (the flour Mill was near by) was erected to span the Keithing Burn and the recently opened Halbeath Waggon Way. By 1829, the Mill Bridge had fallen into disrepair and on 19 January 1829 plans for the new bridge (with three wide spans and one narrow span) were completed by Mr Peddie of East Ness, Inverkeithing. John Menzies of Dunfermline was the builder and the total cost was £102-0-11p.

The Halbeath Waggon Way was opened in 1783 by the owners of the Halbeath Colliery - Messrs Sampson Garscyne Lloyd and Cornelius Lloyd of Amsterdam - for the purpose of bringing coal from pits in the Halbeath area to Inverkeithing Harbour (see separate listing). This single-track route ran from the colliery (1 mile N of Halbeath village) to the harbour at Inverkeithing. The line was first laid with wooden rails that were replaced by iron rails circa 1820. In addition to coal from Halbeath and latterly other collieries in the Townhill area, there was also considerable traffic from other sources including the distillery at Boreland in Inverkeithing. The line also served the Inverkeithing Fire-Brick and Gas Retort Works to the N of Inverkeithing (opened circa 1831) and also the Gas Company's gasworks off Waggon Road in Inverkeithing. Connections were made to the new mainline railway in 1848. The Halbeath Colliery closed in 1850, but the branch connection from Townhill and various other connections to Inverkeithing continued until 1867, when the Halbeath Waggon Way itself finally closed. However the track at Inverkeithing remained in place after 1867 and stayed operational for local Inverkeithing industries. In 1877, a branch line of the Dunfermline and Queensferry Railway was connected. A connection to the Fordell Railway (built for hauling coal to St David's Bay) was made in the second half of the 19th century closing in the 1920s. Horse drawn wagons were known to be pulled up and down the Inverkeithing stretch of line in the 1890s. The embankment to the E of Inverkeithing Station (see separate listing), along the eastern edge of Inverkeithing Burn, and along the street named Waggon Road demonstrate clearly where the railway formerly passed. The Waggon Way is presently used as a N/S footpath through the E part of the burgh (2003).

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