A half size replica of one of the two identical cast iron crests (c.1820) from the Union Chain Bridge (opened 1820) with the Latin motto “Vis Unita Fortior” (United strength is stronger). The two crests were originally placed in the centre of the bridge above the centre of the River Tweed which marks the border between Scotland and England. The crests were moved to the English and Scottish towers at a later date possibly in 1891 when major work was carried out on the bridge including replacement of the hangers (see account by Chris Baglee below). The crest on the English tower was removed from the bridge in 2021 during the refurbishment works and has since been replaced, cleaned and primed. The crest on the Scottish tower resisted all attempts to remove it and it has remained in place.
The crests depict clasped hands with foliage containing two thistles (representing Scotland) and two roses (representing England).
The replica was printed from an on-site 3D scan of the crest from the English tower during its removal following water-blasting and the application of a primer paint coat: 3D scan and printing were both undertaken by Psyber-Tech 3D Printing, Livingston. The painting was by Whitewash Studio, Livingston. The cost of the scanning of the crest was generously co-funded by the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge and the Spencer Group (the contractor for the refurbishment works).
For a detailed account of the crests see:
Cast-iron crests on the bridge faces of the English and Scottish Pylons. Chris Baglee, Bridge Conservation Architect.
For more information on the Union Chain Bridge see:
Union Chain Bridge 1820 – its origin, significance and future. A talk given by Professor Roland Paxton to The Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club at Hutton Parish Hall on 20 May 2015.
Union Chain Bridge’s Historical Engineering Significance. Invited article by Professor Roland Paxton for publication in the History of the Berwickshire Naturalists’ Club.