Architectural drawing of the North and South Bridges, late 18th century
A late 18th century plan, possibly by the architect James Craig, which depicts both the North and South Bridges linking the New Town to the Old Town. Streets and closes adjacent to the bridges are recorded including Nicolson Street, College Street, Cowgate, Niddry's Wynd, Marlane's Wynd, Peebles Wynd, and Princes Street.
The North Bridge, shown here, stood until 1896 when it was replaced by the present one. The South Bridge, built after the North, was erected to span the chasm between the High Street and the Cowgate. Running for 1000 feet (304 metres), it was 31 feet (9.4 metres) high at its tallest point and its foundations reached 22 feet (6.7 metres) into the ground. Underneath the bridge sat 19 arches, which, soon after construction was finished, became home to workmen, taverns and people from all walks of life until the early 19th century. Today tours of the vaults run underneath the bridge.
Credit: NRS, RHP3167/1 (Link to the Online Catalogue entry)