Chris Atkinson from the West Linton Historical Association runs through the history of the Lyne Water...

THE Lyne Water rises in the Pentland Hills, near Cauldstane Slap, four and a half miles north of West Linton. 

It flows south for 15 miles or so through stunning countryside until it joins the Tweed at Lyne Station.

Along its course it passes beneath at least 20 bridges, some for highways, some for footpaths, some for railways and some for water pipes, all of which are characterful. 

At West Linton four bridges stand out as significant to the life of the village.

At Lynedale, half a mile north-east of the village, the Romans and prehistoric man before them crossed the Lyne but no evidence has been found of any bridge.

However, the present bridge built in the early eighteenth century carried the main road from Edinburgh to Biggar and crossed the important drove road from the north, via the Cauldstane Slap, near this place which was known as Biggeresford, and where an inn called the Brighouse Inn was established. 

At the bridge we see a square building behind Lynedale House which was originally the site of a toll-house for the collection of ‘pontage’ on bridge traffic.

In 1833 the building of the new turnpike road, now the A702, through the upper part of the village must have been the present-day equivalent of motorway construction.

To accommodate increased traffic and a bend in the road, the bridge was widened and straightened in 1965 giving a very fine view of the Lyne and the Upper Green.

Even with this major work there were still two fords to cross on entering and leaving the village, one for the drove road down Chapel Brae and the other for the turnpike road from the south.

It wasn’t until the 1890s that traffic heading south was able to cross the Lyne on a bridge made from a new material which was rapidly gaining popularity, namely steel.

Until then everybody, except the minister who had his own footbridge, went through the ford. 

The new bridge was a great improvement for all except cattle, sheep and horses who were deprived of a cooling drink in the river as they crossed.

This deficiency was not rectified until Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, when the children of the Broomlee Band of Mercy subscribed money to erect a horse trough and drinking fountain.

A place that children of the village liked to play was beside the White Bridge at the foot of Chapel Brae.

The many attractions were fishing for anything that swam, throwing stones, feeding the ducks, paddling and generally getting wet. 

Pausing on the bridge to view the scene was popular to young and old and still is after several generations of The White Bridge.