A Declaration of Love
Montagu Bridge, a spectacular single arch span over the River North Esk, is one of the last works of the great architect Robert Adam. In fact, he died before its completion in 1792. The bridge was conceived as a magnificent eye-catcher of a structure to be viewed from Dalkeith Palace as well as offering a beautiful frame for Dalkeith Palace when viewed from the other side.
The Union of Montagu & Scott
First designed in celebration of the marriage in 1767 of Lady Elizabeth Montagu and Henry Scott, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, the building of the bridge was nearly 25 years in the making.
The bridge is a physical manifestation of the happy union between two people and their families – Montagu and Scott – its name a tribute to the memory of the Duchess’s father, the Duke of Montagu.
A love story
Given his social rank and wealth one might have expected a strategically arranged union for young Henry Scott but it wasn’t quite that simple. Both, the Duke and future Duchess – each highly sought after – met at a royal ball, fell in love and decided to marry but much to the pleasure of their parents. Here is how it happened:
A Modern Outlook
The Montagu-Buccleuch marriage thrived on mutual esteem, good humour and love. Despite 18th century legal restrictions Elizabeth herself retained control of an independent fortune and letters between Elizabeth and Henry are full of business topics and show a keen interest in managing her affairs.
Shortly before his death Henry provided their six children with a touching tribute to his wife as seen on the right.
They were married for 44 years.