I was recently looking at old 1920s and 1930’s photos of the former Milheugh Bridge, i.e. the old arched stone bridge over the River Calder, prior to the 1950’s bridge currently there today. To my surprise, I noticed a peculiar detail which actually looks like an even older abutment or some kind of structure next to the old bridge.
Located on the south, upstream side of the old Milheugh Bridge, on the eastern side of the river Calder was a stone abutment, that looks capable of supporting a timber structure. Nothing exists of it today and presumably it was demolished along with the old bridge itself in the 1950’s. It looks to be around 1m high and around 2m in length and would have come out on the upper embankment in the fields of Milheugh.
It is either solid evidence of a former, even older bridge at this location, or perhaps part of the lade exit or part of some mill workings? The abutment was located just beyond the small tunnel in the old bridge (both old and current bridges had/have a small and large arch within it). The feature appears to have been demolished around 60 years ago.
There’s no other documented evidence to suggest the river was bridged at this location hundreds of years ago, for indeed the main path led to a river ford crossing at Pattenholm, just beyond the current pond at Niaroo.