: The Twa Briggs.
This view of the town is taken from the site of the Darlington Church,
later the Borderline Theatre. It shows the first "New Bridge" with
the Auld Brig in the background. The engraving is based on s painting
by David Octavius Hill prepared for his "The Land of Burns, a
Series of Landscapes and Portraits" published by Blackie in 1840 In
the foreground is a toll gate or bar and at left a small group of children
and a dog have gathered around a raree show or diorama.
A twentieth century gazetteer provides this description of the location:
The burgh is dominated by the Town Steeple, a very fine piece of work
which is perhaps best appreciated from
a view-point at the far end of the New Bridge, by which the main road crosses
the river. From this bridge
also is a good view of the Auld Brig immortalised by Burns in his poem 'The Brigs
of Ayr'. Its antiquity is
undoubted, and although a few years ago it was in peril of demolition and was
only saved by the intervention
of the Burns Clubs, it still stands a champion of the soundness of thirteenth-century
workmanship. The New
Bridge, seen in this illustration, `against which Burns imagined inveighing was
a predecessor of the present New Bridge.
David Octavius Hill (1802-1870), Ayr: The Twa Briggs. Glasgow,
Blackie & Son,
. Engraving by Thomas Higham (1796-1844).