Saturday Snapshot: Horncliffe Bridge

The Union Chain Bridge links England and Scotland over the River Tweed at Horncliffe, just a few miles from where we live. Below is a view of the bridge seen from a footpath on the banks of the river. This was the first suspension bridge in Europe to carry road traffic. It still carries vehicular traffic.

Scotland is on the left as you look at the photo and England on the right.

Designed by Captain Samuel Brown, the bridge was opened in 1820, when it was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world, with a span of 137 metres (449 ft). It is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

I took the photo below standing on the bridge looking towards Scotland:

And a closer view of the bridge on the English side of the border:

Just up the road from the bridge is the Chain Bridge Honey Farm, a fascinating place where you can see a live colony of bees, behind glass, making honey, and where you can buy honey and other products such as candles made from beeswax. I’ll maybe write more about that in another Saturday Snapshot post.

The Visitor Centre at the Honey Farm also has a beautiful mural painted by local artist,Tony Johnson. My photo below shows a section of the map – my blue arrow points to the Chain Bridge. Also shown in this photo is Smailholm Tower (on the left of the photo as you look at it) which I featured in an earlier Saturday Snapshot post.

For more Saturday Snapshots see Alyce’s blog At Home with Books.

30 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot: Horncliffe Bridge

  1. Your posts are always fascinating. Nice to see this old bridge. I must say the bollards at the English end look a bit close, I don’t know that I’d like to drive through those. The honey farm sounds great.


    • Louise the bollards are close and I wouldn’t like to drive through, but others don’t seem to think the same and several cars went over the bridge whilst we were there.


  2. Wonderful look at this border crossing. I used to live on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and the bridge across the Niagara River led to the U.S. – I find our lines of demarcation really interesting.
    And I like the mural tool.


  3. That is just fascinating. Such great shots from so many vantage points, and great commentary. I feel like I was on a tour.
    You make me look forward to one day seeing and hearing about the Honey Farm, too.


  4. Thanks for a fascinating post! Beautiful photos and informative tidbits of history. I’ve visited both England and Scotland before, but have never been to this border. Also, the first thing I notice about your blog is the Header Picture. Before reading your post, I thought you’re from Canada, or even Alberta, where I live. For your Header is one typical scene for us here… esp. at this time of the year. 😉


  5. Margaret – Such beautiful ‘photos! And such interesting history too. I”m so glad you shared this, and I’m looking forward to your post about the Chain Bridge Honey Farm too.


  6. If only this bridge could talk and tell its history. I had to chuckle at the first photo. Since you can’t see the bend in the river, it looks like the bridge has been misplaced into the middle of a pasture. It’s a beautiful countryside picture though. I look forward to returning to England and Scotland someday. My ancestors came from Scotland and I felt really at home there, but England was a country I loved too.


    • Nan, it’s no big deal at all, there’s no border control because England and Scotland, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland all make up the UK. At this bridge there are road signs at both ends – the border line is in the river. In other places there are England and Scotland place names signs on the road in the same way as there are town and village name signs. The only place I’ve seen more than that is on the A1 where there are also flags on the roadside – on one side for Scotland and on the other for England – maybe I’ll stop and take a photo next time I’m going that way.


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