Scotland’s Oldest Bridges.

A map-based catalogue of the oldest masonry bridges in Scotland. 

EFG - Alphabetical List

EARLSTON BRIDGE  
C. Berwick  Leader Water   357061,638230

History: Close to Dere St. going north. There may have been a Roman crossing around this spot. The town was expanded in 1736 with the new church. This probably dates the bridge. It appears there was a ford (Craig's Ford) before that.
Maps:Roy(1750)
Currently: beautiful 18th century structure with two wide flat segmental arches and heavy cutwaters. Dressed random rubble spandrels and slim rubble and whinstone voussoirs, non-recessed. No string course. Parapets in later material. Course triangular coping. Splayed approaches. Nine ft. across p to p. Now a walkway.


Link photo photo photo photo.
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EAST LINTON BRIDGE  
C.East Lothian  R.Tyne  359261,677107

History: The present masonry appears to be from before the time of the 'Rough Wooing’ invasion of Southern Scotland , 1547, when the previous stone bridge was destroyed by the English army on retreat. Serial recorded repairs thereafter. In 1594, two pence per ox was charged for repairs. Widened in 1763 (from 9ft to 12 ft). The bridge was a key element of the Great Post Road North.
Maps:Roy(1750) Blaeu(1640) Adair(1680s)
Currently: 16th century. Two huge ribbed segmental arches. Four ribs each. Large buttresses to the abutments. Chamfered voussoirs and chamfered ribs. Many irregularities due to serial repairs. Refuges at one end only. Large yellow and red squared ashlar and coursed sandstone rubble spandrels, tied with tie rails (19th century). Marked delamination of the stonework. Splayed approaches. The keystone date is for the widening in 1763. The bridge is now 18ft wide.


Link Link photo photo photo photo.
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EASTSIDE BRIDGE Kirkintilloch     see LUGGIE BRIDGE


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BRIDGE OF ETTERIDGE  
C.Inverness  R.Truim  268031,792300

History:1730 military bridge. Wade. Bypassed by Crubenmore Bridge in 1802 and more recently both older bridges bypassed by William's 1925 bridge on the old A9. Finally, all three bypassed by the most modern A9.
Maps:1750
Currently: Classic Wade 1730s military bridge in undressed random rubble with one semicircular arch which is stilted on one side, plus one flood arch. Crude rubble masonry; flat decking; poorly aligned voussoirs which appear to be whinstone. Iron cramping. 11ft parapet to parapet. A very typical Wade bridge.


Link photo photo.
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EVAN BRIDGE Beattock
C.Dum & Gall  Evan Water  

History: This is a hidden treasure which is at risk of collapse. It cannot be seen on modern maps. It was built in 1717 by the Commissioners of Supply. Roys map clearly shows that it was constructed for the Moffat Dumfries Road, not for the main road south to Lockerbie.(as in RCAHMS)
It was bypassed by a Telford bridge, built 80m downstream, which is still taking traffic.
Maps:Roy(1750)
Currently: partial ruin with considerable loss of parapets and upper layers of spandrels. Early 18th C single segmental arch with rubble spandrels and abutments. Voussoirs also in rubble but a little better dressed. Very overgrown and delapadated.


Link photo photo photo.
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BRIDGE OF FETTERESSO Stonehaven
C.Aberdeen  Carron Water  85280,785565

History:Nothing known.
Maps:Pont 11 1600 only. Not on Roy.
Currently: beautiful little two span 18th century. Random rubble in parts, coursed rubble in others. Tiny semicircular arches of 13ft span. Clearly widened from 7ft to present 13 ft(see photo). Splayed approaches. One arch is now silted up with a raised embankment. No string course. Odd, that this bridge is not on Roy. Adjacent ruined church and graveyard suggest it may be a 'collection' bridge repair.


photo photo photo.
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FINTRAY BRIDGE     see LOW BRIDGE


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FLEET BRIDGE Gatehouse of Fleet
C. Du & Gall  R. Fleet   259832,556216

History:First wooden bridge was built in 1610. This road was the 'Gate'. Gate house built at the river edge. Repairs followed by a toll in 1661 by Act of parliament. Washed away in 1721. Rebuilt 1730 by John Frew. Part of Military road 1760s. Widened in 1779. 1811 rebuild. Further widened with concrete walkways in 1965.
Maps:Roy(1750) Blaeu(1600)
Currently:Two almost semicircular arches with central buttress. Sandstone voussoirs. Uncoursed, hammer faced rubble spandrels. General layout more like the 1811 rebuild with level deck but with arches probably retained from 18th century. 


Link photo.
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FOGO BRIDGE nr Coldstream
C.Berwick  R.Blackadder  376977,649203

History:Dated 1641. Rebuilt 1843. Panels with arms (see link). Old Stat Accnts record this as the only bridge in the parish.
Maps: 1750(Roy)
Currently: Appears to have been rebuilt in two periods since the 17th century. Single segmental arch. Well dressed coursed and squared sandstone rubble spandrels, abutments and approaches on the later build, with rusticated sandstone ashlar voussoirs. Parapets more recent. Strong string course. On the original build, the voussoirs are very different squared rubble: evident repairs to the arch; spandrels are faced but not squared or coursed. Two panels, one of 1641, attributing the bridge to James Cockburn and the other, of 1843, recording repairs. The repairs were very substantial; the bridge is of 19th century style, though some earlier features are evident on the downstream side.


Link photo photo photo.
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UPPER FOYERS BRIDGE  
C.Inverness  R.Foyers  249795,819957

History: Probable location of a Pont bridge. The river was the Faech/Loin on Pont's map. A very narrow high gorge over the water. Reputed to have been a single log spanning the gap.
Maps:Pont (1600). Not on Roy.
Currently:Eighteenth century single span semicircular arched rubble bridge with rubble voussoirs. Eight ft. wide parapet to parapet. Unfortunate modern concrete coping. Not military.


Link photo photo.
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FRASERS BRIDGE Datchat Mhor  
C.Perth  R. Clunie   314779,786467

History: 1749 military road. Caulfeild. Coupar to Fort George. Possibly the first bridge to be built on this road.
Maps:1750
Currently: Beautiful original granite undressed random un-coursed rubble spandrels with 2 span flat segmental arches and wide whinstone voussoirs. Single cutwater. 12 ft p to p.


photo photo photo.
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GARRON BRIDGE Inverary
C.Argyll  R.GearrAbhain   211401,710086

Maps:1750
History: Built 1748 by the military under Caulfeild. Designed by Robert Morris. Taylor is unclear whether this was strictly part of the military road but it seems indisputable even though the style is anomalous. It seems that John Adam had assumed his father's role as 'master mason' to the Board of Ordnance and that he had had some say in the design, which may explain the decorative style. As the bridge lies in the Argyll estate is seems very likely that the Duke also influenced the design. So it is partly an ‘estate bridge’.
Currently:Very ornamental for the time. Almost semicircular humped bridge with a 40ft span with sloping balustrades meeting on a level ornamental parapet on the crown.Decorative pilasters on the abutments. Large stone balls on the refuge walls, only on the downstream side. Missing on the other side. Random rubble approaches with some coursing and squared coursed rubble spandrels. The bridge is now bypassed.


Link photo photo photo photo photo photo.
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GARRY BRIDGE Dalnacardoch Glen Garry
C.Perth  R.Garry   272649,770027

History: 1730s military road. Wade. This was Wade’s third road, running from Crieff to join the Dunkeld /Inverness road at the River Garry. The bridge was just before the roads joined. Also known as Dalnacardoch Bridge.
Maps:1750
Currently:1730s  An 18th century bridge . One almost semicircular arch of 47 ft. Voussoirs in whinstone. Horizontal deck. Harling coating is falling off. Appears dilapidated. Ten ft. wide  parapet to parapet. Still in use.


Link photo photo.
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GARVAMORE BRIDGE Corrieyairack Pass
C.Inverness  R.Spey  252176,794749

History: 1732 Garbhamor. Military bridge. Wade. Dalwhinnie to Fort Augustus road. This was Wade's first multi-arched bridge. The cost of all the Correyairack bridges was £466. Original Kingshouse nearby. Wade celebrated the completion with an oxen feast for 500 men, working on the road and bridges. This was the highest bridge on the Spey River. He initially called it St.George's Bridge.
Maps:1750
Currently:1732. Stunning, though strangely ugly. Two widely separated semi-circular arches of 40 ft. Separated by a pier on a rock island. A humped bridge, but horizontal between the arches. 10ft wide parapet to parapet. 180 ft long. Enormous buttresses in support of each pier and abutment. Metal tie-rods on arches. Spandrels in un-coursed, poorly dressed random rubble. Voussoirs in whinstone. 


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GLEN DOE BRIDGE  
C.Inverness  Allt Doe   240847,808775

History:1730 military. Wade. Fort Augustus to Inverness road.
Maps:1750
Currently: Five yards to the south of the current bridge and a little below it, is this small, eighteenth century , single segmental humpbacked arch in rubble, with minimal parapets and turf decking. Well dressed, sometimes squared but un-coursed, rubble spandrels. Well dressed voussoirs. The bridge is collapsing: there is a large hole in the decking, looking through to the river. Now harled, and harling has deteriorated. Very dilapidated and overgrown. The current bridge, adjacent, has the substance of a 20th century structure, which is revealed on the soffit.(photo4) However, facings are from the early 19th century Telford period with preserved plumb and batter buttresses, and it is 22 ft wide. There is a further puzzle here: the small original bridge might not be from the Wade period, but rather from the 1740's. This is suggested by the segmental arch, which is unusual and the width of exactly 12 ft which is characteristic of a Caulfeild build, rather than that of Wade.


photo photo photo photo.
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GLENLUCE PARK BRIDGE Glenluce
C.Dum & Gall  Luce Water   219158,557352

History:Twelfth century Cistercian Abbey nearby. After the Reformation, the (1590) Castle of Park was established. The bridge is known to have collapsed in the 1660s (Harrison); several drowned; there was no bridge for some time. Part of the Military Road 1760’s (firmly on Roy). Reported as 'very old' in 1838 when widened(Stat.Accts) by attaching on a new wide segmental arch on the west side.
Maps:Roy(1750)
Currently:The bridge is clearly ancient with a range of styles from different centuries. Two arches on the east, one semicircular and one segmental. On the west, one long wide segmental arch. Ashlar piers and two orders of voussoir- the first is depressed. Ashlar abutments. Parapets appear to be 18th or 19th century. RCAHMS suggest the semicircular arch may be 16th century which certainly fits with style. The bridge is 17th century perhaps with 16th century remnants.


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GRANNIFORD BRIDGE     see DEE BRIDGE


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GUARD BRIDGE nr St.Andrews
C.Fife  R.Eden  345196,718875

History: First built in 1419. Bishop Wardlaw. Plaque. However, Inglis attributes the plaque to the arms of Bishop James Kennedy(Chancellor of Scotland 1444. Died 1446). The bridge was certainly repaired by Archbishop Beaton 1530: date-stone. Recorded "ruyneous' in 1601, initiating a major rebuild. Wide semicircular arches without ribs suggest present masonry is from this period. However, the very large piers may be from the earlier builds. Further repairs in 1678, 1685, 1786 and new parapets and refuges in 1802. OSA describes a chain across it to prevent heavy carts.
Maps:1750 1680s(Adair) 1600( Gordon 54) 1640(Blaeu)
Currently: appears mainly 16th or 17th century. Five semicircular arches without ribs plus one smaller segmental arch, 12 ft wide. About 40 ft span. Triangular cutwaters and refuges built in to these. Width about 12 ft. Structurally the most unusual feature is the remarkable ratio of very slim 15 inch chamfered voussoirs on a 40 ft semicircular span (photo and see engineering section). The main substance of the bridge is in very weathered ashlar. Unusual absence of a string course though the newer parapets are well defined.


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Page last updated Oct.2020