The Roman Bridge Project (2014-2015)


Positioned on the axis of the south-east avenue, which leads from Penicuik House to the Ramsay Monument on Cauldshoulders Ridge, the Roman Bridge was the first of the built structures to be commissioned by Sir John Clerk, 2nd Baronet of Penicuik, in 1738.

Our Aim: Restoring the first built structure

Inspired by Sir John’s three-year Grand Tour of Germany, Austria, Italy and France, the Bridge’s design was carefully contrived to give an impression of antiquity, evoking the possibility that it might just have been built by the Romans. Extensive work is required to reinstate it, and the key crossing of the North Esk River which it provides, in the system of walks enjoyed by the public within the Designed Landscape.

The Roman Bridge is a stone humpbacked bridge with one main arch over the River Esk and two smaller arches, partly enclosed to form small chambers, one of which contains a fireplace and flue. The date 1738 is incised on the north keystone and a passage under the east abutment features low parapets which carry sockets that may have supported standards or torches.

The cost of rebuilding the Roman Bridge is £695,735 and, thanks to £255,899 received in funding from Historic Scotland as well as a major commitment from the Penicuik House Preservation Trust, restoration work was able to commence in summer 2014. However, we still need to close the funding gap to help us restore the first built structure within this magnificent landscape.

Restoration cost

Building works & fees / £579,779
VAT (20%) / £115,956
Total to be raised / £695,735

Download the Roman Bridge Project Donation Form to support this project directly.