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
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 8488 4013
384880, 640130


John Smeaton, 1763-66; 20th century alterations. Road bridge with 5 segmental-arch and 2 side flood arches crossing border between Scotland and England on A698 over River Tweed. 4 battered semi-octagonal cutwaters between arches with triple projecting keystones and decorative ashlar edged oculi to spandrels. Plain dentilled cornice to parapet base. Squared and dressed sandstone; random whin rubble to roundel oculi. Cantilevered concrete footpaths to either side of roadway (1960-1).

Statement of Special Interest

A group with the Marriage House (see separate listing).

A very fine example of an 18th century bridge design by pre eminent civil engineer John Smeaton, his first example of a bridge executed in fine dressed sandstone with classical detailing and forming a prominent structure in the landscape of the border between Scotland and England. The bridge is a seminal example of British civil engineering significantly influencing the design and construction of bridges of this period and beyond.

John Smeaton, (1724-1792) is highly regarded as making a significant contribution to the built heritage of the 18th century through his broad engineering prowess which spanned a wide spectrum to included bridges, mills, lighthouses, canals, harbours as well as major contributions to engineering science. He is widely renowned as Britain's first civil engineer and responsible for many important innovative structures such as the third Eddystone lighthouse (1755-9) which was to become the prototype for all masonry lighthouses built in the open sea. During this project he identified the compositional requirements needed to create hydraulic lime which allowed mortar to be more efficiently used under water. Smeaton is known for 4 prominent bridges, Coldstream, Hexham, Perth and Banff, Coldstream being the first where he adopted the roundel oculi detailing which was to become his hallmark on subsequent bridges. From the mid 18th century the design of major bridges developed lighter structures with flatter arches. In Coldstream the main arches were all built the same size to save on shuttering costs.

The architect Robert Reid of Haddington, who had prepared initial designs for the bridge in 1762, became local overseer of the project built to Smeaton's plans. It was Smeaton's second design which incorporated ornament and detailing from Reid's earlier plan. Work began in July 1763 and the bridge was opened to traffic on October 28th 1766.

Coldstream Bridge was commissioned by local road trustees and the Tweed Bridges Trust costing £6000 and spanning 173 metres. The bridge toll house (Marriage House, see separate listing) was built separately by Robert Reid with a second storey below road level to form a house for himself arguing that the two storey structure would help support the bridge structure. Smeaton supported this theory when the road trustees disapproved of Reid's plan for his own house. The cottage was often used for elopements due to its location and became known as the Marriage House.

The bridge has undergone 20th century alterations including strengthening its piers and rebuilding the parapet in 1922 and renewing its internal structure, provision of reinforcing concrete relieving arches and the widening of the roadway with cantilevered footpaths in 1960-61. The alterations however are subtle and do not detract from the imposing character of the original 18th century bridge design. The weir slightly downstream was added c1784.

Formally a Scheduled Monument, de - scheduled (July 2012). List description updated 2012 following descheduling. That part of the bridge in England is also listed and included in the list for Cornhill o Tweed Parish, Northumberland.



K Cruft, J Dunbar and R Fawcett -The Buildings of Scotland, Borders' (2006) p186. J Hume 'The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, 1. The Lowlands and Borders' (1976) p78. C Strang, Borders and Berwick, (1994) p72.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 25/05/2019 02:45