On this day in 1763: North Bridge building contract signed

North Bridge pictured in 1939. Picture: TSPL
North Bridge pictured in 1939. Picture: TSPL
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On this day in 1763 the contract to build Edinburgh’s North Bridge was signed.

The main link between the Old and New Towns, the original bridge was finished in 1772, and stood until 1896.

Although it was hailed as an engineering triumph, it was also seen as a symbol of the increasing social separation between the squalid Old Town and the affluent New Town.

The current bridge, measuring 525ft long, was constructed by Sir William Arrol & Co., the firm responsible for the Forth Bridge.

The bridge’s ornamentation was designed by noted architect Robert Morham, who also worked on the Edinburgh City Chambers, Princes Street Gardens and Fountainbridge Meat Market.

The Scotsman was based at offices on North Bridge between 1902 and 1995.