Scotland’s Oldest Bridges.

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

KL - Alphabetical List

KELTY BRIDGE  
C. Fife  R. Kelty   313927,695304

History: recorded in 1724 by McFarlane, but may be older than that. He writes “The King’s highway from Edr to Perth—leading N hard by the church which divides Fifeshire from Kinrossshire”. This bridge is on the ancient post road from Dunfermline to Perth, located at the join from Inverkiething,  going north.
Maps:1750
Currently: Late 17th or early 18th century. Single semicircular arch of well dressed lightly rusticated voussoirs. Coursed squared rubble, well dressed, may be ashlar in some parts. Ties and pattress plates. Clear evidence of widening. Parapets in red sandstone are more recent. Very fine coping. A very beautiful little bridge.


Link photo photo.
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KEN BRIDGE     see
HIGH BRIDGE OF KEN


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KENLY BRIDGE Boarhills
C.Fife  R.Kenly  356962,713532

History: Nothing known. 

Maps:1750
Currently:Dated 1793. This was probably restructuring.
Two small semicircular arches. Widened on the downstream side suggesting an original narrow 9ft bridge.Present structure has much from the 18th century suggesting that it was restored and widened in late 18th century rather than rebuilt. Also note(photo) a different angle on the older upstream side. Interestingly, only the older upstream side has a rather pretty bullnosed cutwater. There are also gate-piers and a solid string course on the upstream side, only. 


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KERELAW CASTLE BRIDGE  Stevenston
C.Ayrshire.  Stevenston Burn  226874, 642883


History: The castle dates from 1171. It was destroyed in 1488, further sacked in 1528, abandoned to ruin in 1797, remodelled to a garden-folly in the 19th century. The bridge was the western access to the castle and later provided the link to Kerelaw Manor which was on the other side of the burn. Kerelaw Manor no longer exists but the ruins of the old castle are still standing, 30m from the bridge.  The bridge has been widened, but probably at an early stage, perhaps when the new Kerelaw Grange manor was built in the late 18th-century.  

Maps:Roy(1750). 

Currently: A small 15th or 16th century semicircular arched bridge with stillted abutments. Stonework in squared coursed dressed masonry. Ashlar voussoirs largely lost from the facings but one voussoir is an example of richly verniculated stonework.  Serious deterioration of the substance suggests that collapse may be quite soon unless repair work is started. Span of about 12 feet. Clearly widened: 6ft on the older upstream side. 12 ft extension downstream. Parapets are absent.


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KILLIN BRIDGE    see DOCHART


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KILMARTIN BRIDGE
C.Argyll  Kilmartin Burn  183267,698035

Maps:Pont 15 1600
This bridge is only on Pont. Location uncertain. Currently on the approximate spot is a small later 18th C segmental single-arched un-coursed random rubble bridge with splayed parapets, into a T junction. Clearly a replacement of what appeared to be there in 1600.


photo photo.
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KILMICHAEL BRIDGE
C. Argyll  R.Add  185289,692620

History:1737(not military) Described in the NSA as ' 4 arches-very narrow steep inconvenient and almost dangerous.'  One has to wonder if this was the same bridge. It was an important crossing point for black cattle from Islay and Jura. Also droves from Kintyre. There was a Tryst here and a drover's stance(Haldane). The main drove road continued to Inverary.
Maps:1750
Currently:1737.  Two segmental arches plus two flood arches. Slightly stilted. Partially squared rubble with rough coursing. Plain with no string course. Cutwaters. Remarkably intact and original.


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KINBUCK Kinbuck Bridge
C.Stirling  R.Forth  279124,705388

History: plaque inside parapet indicates a 1752 date, but this refers to a rebuild.Macfarlane (1720s) describes  '
5 land stalls of stone covered with tymber and flags Hethir and gravel'. Clearly, not an arched bridge. He also locates it 'on the highway from Dunblane to Crief and the North Highlands 1/2 mile S. of the old Castle of Cromlix'. We know the bridge was crossed by 6000 highlanders in advance of the Battle of Sherrifmuir (1715), and that the Jacobites retreated to Kinbuck after the confrontation.
Maps: The bridge is on Roy's map, but it is exactly on a seam which means it is easily missed. Roy's survey may have been slightly earlier than 1752, so the map may well predate the dating plaque.
Currently: This is an 18th century bridge, but possibly earlier than 1752, at least in some parts. It is 10/11 ft wide and still taking traffic. Two segmental arches with irregular length voussoirs in well dressed rubble. These are not chamfered. Parapets are from a more recent date. Spandrels in very roughly dressed red sandstone random rubble with extensive metal tie-rods. Buttressing on the abutments is splayed on both banks from both facades with modern brickwork on the south bank. There is a single pier which is now embedded in concrete and large triangular cutwaters on both sides, which have an interesting stepped upper profile (photo3).


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KINNEL BRIDGE nr Lockerbie
C.Dum & Gall  Kinnel Water   308972,585015,

History: This remarkable bridge was built in 1723. The downstream side is entirely intact and standing. Built by John Frew who was contracted in 1717; date- stone.
Widened in 1821; date stone.
Maps:Roy(1750)
Currently:1723.  Red sandstone squared, largely random rubble, but well faced and sometimes coursed. Voussoirs are in ashlar which is unusual for the date.
Two segmental arches and one flood arch. Originally 12 ft.wide. Extended on the upstream side in 1821, by a further 7 ft. Huge cutwaters downstream. Smaller on upstream. Slightly battered abutments. Coping and parapets appear original which is also rare. Band course.


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KIRKINTILLOCH LUGGIE BRIDGE 

Dunbartonshire  Luggie Water  265472,674160,

History:  NSA: ‘In 1672, following an Act of Parliament, the Earl of Wigton built a bridge of three arches, the old one being ruinous.’ A toll was imposed. This bridge was swept away by floods in 1715.  Present bridge may be from this period, but widened in cast-iron from around 1900.

Maps: Roy(1750)Pont 34(1600) Blaeu(1640) 

Currently:  An 18th century humped bridge, although it appears to be later 18th century. It is hiding below early 20th century iron superstructure which is 6ft wide on each side.  Three segmental  arches with small cutwaters. Appears to have coursed rubble spandrels, ashlar voussoirs and a strong string course.  


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LANARK BRIDGE    see
CLYDESHOLM BRIDGE


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LASSWADE BRIDGE nr. Dalkeith
C.Midlothian  R.South Esk  330387,666107

History: recorded early 18th century, but also on Blaeu ( 1640). Part of the road south to Melrose and Jedburgh in the later 18th century.
Maps:1750(Roy) 1680s(Adair) Blaeu(1640)
Currently: mostly late 18th, early 19th century. Upstream facade may be older, though a metal foot gangway has been added , supported by an extended 19th century pier. Clear evidence of parallel widening. Coursed squared sandstone rubble with ashlar voussoirs with a flat second order (almost a hood but not recessed) . Two segmental arches, with cutwaters superimposed by elongated buttressing. The cutwaters appear older. Parapets in modern ashlar with solid coping. Interesting approaches in un-dressed un-coursed random rubble, which also may be older. Tollhouse adjacent.


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LESMAHAGOW MONKS BRIDGELesmahagow

C. Lanarkshire. R.Nethan 281487,640440


History: Near to the Lesmahagow Priory remains. The earliest crossing point for the Carlisle Glasgow Road. A Telford Bridge(500m upstream) bypassed it in the early 19th century. The Priory was abandoned in the 1560s at the Reformation. The Duke of Hamilton took over this estate in 1663 and this bridge may well have been rebuilt then.

Maps: Roy 1750. Pont 34 1600. Blaeu 1640.

Currently: A very old bridge with significant original features. Appears to be 17th century in style. Many stages of repair. Rubble built. Some coursing. Beautifully fashioned arch-hood on a nearly semicircular recessed arch. Ten ft. wide between parapets. In a very sad state of neglect with many repairs of poor quality.

An abandoned crumbling Telford bridge is also located just 500m downstream.


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LOCHAY Bridge of Lochay 

C.Perth  R. Lochay   256973,734222

History: Known to be wooden in 1684 when first built; in masonry by 1720, perhaps with a wooden superstructure (iron bolts were ordered). Rebuilt 1741.Contracts for building still exist.
Maps:1750( Roy).
Currently: probably from 1741. Single semicircular arch. Un-coursed, random rubble spandrels. Very worn harling. Large voussoirs in well dressed rubble. 50ft arch. 12ft p to p.


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LORNTY BRIDGE Blairgowrie
C.Perth  Lornty Burn  317124,746483

History: This little bridge lies on the Caulfeild military road going north, built in 1757 between Coupar Angus and Fort George.  However, it appears on Pont's map which gives it a 16th century provenance, at least.  It is reputed to be Roman, but that is extremely unlikely; the known Roman road is some 10km away-which is far enough to exclude any association, and yet too near to be a duplicate. It seems probable that this was a 15th or 16th century packhorse type bridge. We have no knowledge of its story. 

Maps:1750 1600 (Pont 27)

Currently: The western face is entirely encased in concrete, all the way down to a small segmental culvert. This work was done in the 1990's. The eastern face is almost inaccessible because of overgrown embankments, but the profile has been recently revealed by a remarkable photograph (included) by Clare Cooper of the Cateran Ecomuseum. The picture shows a complex array of arches on the soffit. There is at least one additional smaller arched bridge incorporated into the structure. Altogether, we have the appearance of an 18th century military span of about 14ft (including parapets) overlying a 10 ft span bridge which must be considerably older. 


Photo

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LOW BRIDGE Fintray
C. Stirlingshire  R. Endrick   263353,686311

History: Rebuilt in 1696 and in 1751. Mentioned in Macfarlane in 1724. This bridge must have been in the process of being rebuilt around the time of Roy's map. It was also resuscitated in 1966.
Maps:Roy(1750) Blaeu 1640

Currently: 18th century. One very wide segmental arch plus one flood arch. Rough random un-coursed rubble spandrels. Thirteen ft. wide and un-widened. Deck on an incline. Date-stone 1696 (photo) but even this must refer to a rebuild since the bridge is on Blaeu. Very well dressed voussoirs with recessed barrels. Small hood-mould.


Link photo photo.
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LUGGIE BRIDGE Kirkintilloch
C. Dunbartonshire  Luggie Water  265472,674160

History: NSA: In 1672, the Earl of Wigton built a bridge of three arches, the old one being ruinous.  A toll was imposed. This bridge was swept away by floods in 1715. The present bridge may be from this period, but widened in cast-iron from around 1900.
Maps:Roy(1750) Pont 34(1600) Blaeu(1640)
Currently: An 18th century humped bridge, although it appears to be later 18th century. It is hiding below early 20th century iron superstructure which is 6ft wide on each side. Three segmental arches with small cutwaters. Appears to have coursed rubble spandrels, ashlar voussoirs and a strong string course.


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BRIDGE OF LUNDIES nr Kirriemuir
C.Angus  R.Melgam  330128,752882

Maps: Pont 28 (1600) Not on Roy
History:Not known
Currently:Two semicircular arches. Dressed rubble voussoirs. Random sometimes squared rubble spandrels, sometimes coursed. From several periods. Flat deck suggests a later date. Also must have been widened to take current traffic but this is not obvious on the soffit.
Substantial buttresses in dressed rubble. Iron ties.
Overall looks late 18th century


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LYNESMILL BRIDGE
C.Peeblesshire Lyne Burn  320925,640106

History: An 18th century bridge. Firmly on Roy but on Roy's map the road crossed a little upstream from his bridge, which is clearly shown, a little away from the road. A date of 1717 has been attributed but much of the bridge appears later in style than that.
Maps:1750(Roy) Blaeu(1640)
Currently: Two span un-coursed random rubble with one segmental and one semicirular arch. Coursed, squared rubble on lower parts. Random un-faced rubble above. Dressed, stugged squared rubble voussoirs. Many repairs. Widened by about 5 ft on the upstream side, clearly in the 19th century, because there the voussoirs are in red sandstone ashlar. Curiously, the flood arch has three soffits (parallel widening) whilst the main arch has only two. Smaller cutwaters on the original downstream side.


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Page last updated Oct.2020