Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 96890 76053
296890, 576053


Building began circa 1431, but much rebuilt and altered. Bridge comprising 6 - originally 9 - arches over River Nith. 1619

flood demolished 5 arches, these rebuilt (doubtless on 15th

century piers or footings) 1620-21. Frequently repaired, eg

Gilbert Smith, 1725; parapets rebuilt. 3 eastmost arches

demolished in first half of 19th century as part of Whitesands

land reclamation scheme. Built of coursed red sandstone,

arches with ashlar voussoirs with chamfered edges and unribbed

soffits, pointed cutwaters splayed inwards below level of

arch crowns, central cutwaters carried upwards as pedestrian

refuges and mark site of former "port" (toll-gate), demolished

1769 to lessen weight on pier (there had previously been

2 ports). Eastmost half of bridge is fairly regular on plan

with parapets set at lower level (eastmost arch is slightly

wider, steps at truncated E end; westmost half of bridge is

irregular on plan), suggesting earlier building date,

particularly at pointed westmost arch; abutments and parapets

splayed towards N, perhaps to allow for possible defence.

Statement of Special Interest

Scheduled Monument. Replaces earlier (?timber) bridge, usually attributed to Devorgilla Baliol, foundress of Sweetheart

Abbey in late 13th century. Diary of Wm Grierson (copy in

Ewart library) notes (p. 147) on 27th Oct 1794 "This day the

Arch of the old bridge was taken down to open the road to

the New Bridge,..."; but some early 19th century illustrations

show 9 arches, and Gough in 1806 counted 9 arches (Edgar,

p. 158n). Dickie agrees that one arch was removed 1794,

adding that the last arch was removed in 1825. Before the

New (Buccleuch St) bridge was built, Alexander Stevens

produced in 1791 a design for widening this bridge (see

Edgar, p. 158n, quoting TCM). Pemberton, in his Journal,

1723, remarks on this "....fair stone bridge of 13 large

arches, the finest I saw in Britain next to London and

Rochester...."; MacDowall, however, shows (Guide to Dumfries)

1885, 3rd ed, pp. 66-8) that so far back as 1681 there were

still only 9 arches. Excavations by James Barbour failed to

find evidence of a 10th arch.




OF DUMFRIES, 1746, (pub 1915), pp. 150-158. (Notes p. 58 a

tradition that the bridge originally had 10 arches). RCAHM,

INVENTORY, 1920, No 131. (Incl plan and elevation and

photograph). Plan by I H K Beattie, 1941, in NMRS. Widely

illustrated; numerous drawings and engravings in NMRS and in

Dumfries Museum. Dickie, DUMFRIES, n.d. (3rd ed), pp. 21-23.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 17/02/2019 16:24