Heritage Locations

Kalemouth Suspension Bridge

Early carriage suspension bridge


Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Near Eckford, Kelso, Roxburghshire TD5 8LQ


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

Erected circa 1825 at the expense of a local landowner, William Mein of Ormiston, this is one of the earliest surviving carriage suspension bridges. It spans the River Teviot near near the point where Kalewater joins the Teviot.

Its builder, Captain (later Sir) Samuel Brown R.N. (1776 - 1852), was a manufacturer of chain cabling, having patented his iron bar links in 1817. Brown had earlier (1819-20) built another suspension bridge, the Union Bridge (linking Scotland and England) some 23 miles (37 km) to the east, over the River Tweed near Paxton (Berwickshire). The Union Bridge is the earliest surviving carriage suspension bridge in the UK still in vehicular use.

The bridge, of wrought iron construction with a timber deck (somewhat overlain by necessary late 20th century repairs), has a span of 58.9m (186 ft) and a width of 2.6m (8 ft 8 ins) between the suspension points. The chains are suspended from elegant pyramidal stone towers.

The bridge remains open to single file traffic; once traversed, it allows the curious traveller access to an excellent back lane to Kelso via the hamlet of Roxburgh, once the county town of Roxburghshire. It is Listed Category A.


Drewry, C.S., A Memoir of Suspension Bridges: comprising a History of their Origin, BiblioBazaar, ISBN-10: 0554725614(2008)

Hume, J. R., The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland: 1, Lowlands and Borders,Batsford, ISBN-10: 0713432349 (1976)

Minchinton, W., A Guide to Industrial Archaeology Sites in Britain, HarperCollins, ISBN-10: 0246117818 (1984)

Pugsley, A. G., The Theory of Suspension Bridges, ASIN: B0017GVWIA (1957)

Rastorfer, D., Suspension Bridge: A History. Yale University Press,ISBN-10: 030011429X (2010)

Steinman, D.B., A Practical Treatise on Suspension Bridges. Hayne Press, ISBN-10: 1445517639 (2006) 

Strang, C. A. Borders and Berwick: Illustrated Architectural Guide to the Scottish Borders and Tweed Valley, Rutland Press, ISBN-10: 1873190107 (1994) 

Opening Times:
Open at all times


How To Find:
By road: Off A698, near Eckford


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