News in brief

Medieval bridge discovered in Scotland

Over the last two years, the Ancrum and District Heritage Society (ADHS) have, with the help of Historic Environment Scotland, Dendrochronicle, and Wessex Archaeology, surveyed and researched a medieval wooden bridge that was discovered underwater in the River Teviot in southern Scotland.

Only the cutwater platforms and the oak timbers that once supported the piers of what would have once been a multi-arched bridge remain, but radiocarbon dating of some of the recovered timbers placed them in the mid-1300s. This makes it the oldest scientifically dated bridge ever found in its original position in Scotland, and confirms that this was probably the bridge built during the reign of David II of Scotland, forming part of the ‘Via Regia’ (or the King’s Way) that connected Edinburgh to the Border.

Further funds for heritage

COVID-19 has put the heritage sector under unprecedented strain. In response, the National Lottery Heritage Fund initially suspended new grant applications, instead putting their resources towards an emergency response. Since the start of the pandemic, they have injected £600 million into the sector, double the usual annual amount.

Now the Fund has reopened for new grant applications, particularly focused on helping organisations that have been unable to access emergency funds. In the first instance, to help as many people as possible, grants will be kept small, but the Fund is aiming to open for larger applications by February. See www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding for more details.

Monuments memorialised

PHOTO: Lewis Hulbert, Creative Commons
PHOTO: Lewis Hulbert, Creative Commons

In advance of Armistice Day, 132 war memorials in England were listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport on the advice of Historic England. They include the Leighton Buzzard Memorial, which is thought to be made from the largest single undressed granite slab ever quarried in the UK, and the Old Basing War Memorial in Basingstoke, which commemorates 25 local men, including two brothers who died on the same day.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive for Historic England, said: ‘Our War Memorials across the country remind us of the huge sacrifices made by generations in the conflicts of the last century, and provide communities with a focal point to express their gratitude and loss. We are proud to continue our work in recognising and protecting these important public monuments so future generations can continue to honour and remember the fallen.’