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Rennie's Bridge and the Toll House
The present bridge, known as Rennie's Bridge, was built in 1800-3 to replace the one washed away in the floods of 1797. Designed by John Rennie of Haddington, it is an earlier and smaller scale version of the Waterloo Bridge, which he designed for London. The Toll House at the town end, where the payment had to be made, was the scene of a riot in 1854, when the locals finally objected to continuing to pay the tolls when the building costs had been long cleared. The Riot Act was read and batons were drawn, but it still took three years before the tolls were withdrawn.
Downstream of Rennie's Bridge, and just out of sight round a bend in the Tweed, is the new Hunter's Bridge. It is a fine example of a modern bridge; functional but not visually obtrusive. With it now in place, the heavier traffic, which has caused severe damage to Rennie's Bridge, will now travel the new route, as part of the North - South ring route.
|Kelso Scotland, Scottish Borders UK|