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Old Cramond Brig

Cramond Old Brig
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cramond Old Brig

Crossing the River Almond at the end of Braepark Road in the Cramond district of W Edinburgh, the historic Old Cramond Brig has been accessible to vehicular traffic since 1986. It was built c.1500 and comprises three arches with massive triangular cutwaters which carry a narrow carriageway between low parapets. It once crossed the division between Edinburgh and West Lothian. The bridge was rebuilt 1617-19 and subject to extensive repairs in 1687-91 by Robert Mylne (1633 - 1710), 1761, 1776 and in 1854, all of these dates appearing on the bridge itself.

In his Tales of a Grandfather, Sir Walter Scott records the traditional tale of how King James V (1512-42) was attacked while walking across the bridge. He was rescued by a local tenant farmer, Jock Howieson (Howison or Houison), who he later rewarded with a gift of the land he worked at Braepark. The King asked in return that Howieson and his descendants should be prepared to wash the monarch's hands either at Holyrood Palace or when they passed by Cramond Brig. How often this duty was carried out in the following centuries is not known, although it was certainly orchestrated by Sir Walter Scott for King George IV during his Scottish visit of 1822 and has been performed regularly for subsequent monarchs up until the present day. Howieson's cottage can still be seen to the south of the bridge.

A new bridge further upstream now carries the A90 road north.


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