Scotland’s Oldest Bridges.

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

Old bridges on 16th century crossings.

The following is a list of very old bridges which may have parts that are older than we think. The main structures appear to be seventeenth or eighteenth-century in style, but there is often no clear historical confirmation of this.  What is confirmed, however, is that there was a bridged crossing at that location on the very  old maps  which suggests a 16th century existence.  In some instances, we may have to reconsider the dating. These bridges are represented by maroon markers on the map. In some cases, a red marker could have been used. There are 34 examples in alphabetical order, best seen individually on the catalogue map by looking for the coordinates.

Abbeytown Bridge, Airth. 289649,686537 Panel records ’rebuilt by the shire 1726’ and looks largely 18th century. However, there is a record of repairs in 1629. Pont (1600) Blaeu(1640).

Ardoch Bridge, Perthshire. 283791,709911. A packhorse bridge which appears to be older than the 1742 military bridge that was built alongside. Tradition has it that is was built in 1420.

Aberfoyle Bridge, Stirlingshire. 252016,700924. Appears to be 18thcentury and known to be extensively repaired in 1761. Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Arbirlot Bridge, Angus. 360130,740503. Adjacent to a very ancient church. Perfect semicircular arch. Dressed ashlar spandrels. Pont 26 (1600).

Bridge of Alyth, Forfarshire. 324517,748719. Original bridge reputed to date from 1500. 5 ft wide. Possibly a two-span packhorse bridge. Known to have been 'rebuilt' in 1674. Pont 28 (1600).

Bannockburn Bridge, Stirlingshire. 280763,690444. History 1516 according to plaque. Rebuilt in 1710 and widened in 1761. Arch may be older: chamfered voussoirs on the un-widened side suggests antiquity.  Blaeu(1640). Pont(1600).

Old Barskimming Bridge, Mauchline. 249056,625414. Commission of Supply repairs in 1715. Major 19th century overhaul. Original date not known. Single segmental arch with recessed ashlar voussoirs. Spandrels are a mixture of random rubble and better dressed squared rubble which is interesting. Blaeu ( 1640)

Bishop's Bridge, Perthshire,287522,715369. Known to be on confirmed Roman Road. The 'bishop' was Bishop Ochiltree (1410). Very much an 18thcentury style bridge, but three arches are visible on the semicircular intrados.  Could the centre one be very old indeed?  Pont 21(1600).

Bothwell Bridge, Lanarkshire, 271087,660333. Reputed to be bridged in the 14thcentury. Ribbed arches on the original sections but spandrels and piers appear   Ribbing suggests 16th century.  Most of the rest is 19thcentury. Pont 34(1600). Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Bow Bridge. Elgin 320329, 863233. 1630 plaque though known to be restructured in the late 18th century. Pont/Gordon 23.( 1600)

Brunstane Bridge, Lothian,331467,672581 Single semicircular skewed arch in need of repair. May be the oldest skewed bridge in Scotland. Appears to be 18th century in style.   Blaeu’s Atlas(1640).

Carron Bridge near Denny. 274116,683501. Date-stone of 1695 is clearly noting a substantial rebuild. However reliable history back to the 15th century. Many different stages of repair and a range of old masonry. Mainly 17th century. Pont (1600) and Blaeu(1640)

Cleghorn Bridge, Lanarkshire, 290466,645256. Recorded as existing in 1512. Also a Roman road crossing. Largely rebuilt in 1666. Pont 34(1600) Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Cluny Bridge, Fife. 324312,696372. Unremarkable concrete structure. However, 30m downstream on the north bank is the buttressed approach ramp of the previous bridge. Blaeu's Atlas (1640).

Dollerie Bridge(and Witches Bridge) Madderty. 290662, 720911. These two bridges are within a few hundred metres of each other. Which one is represented on Pont is hard to tell. Witches Bridge is a 4ft wide packhorse bridge and Dollerie is a 17th or 18th century random un-coursed rubble bridge with very clear widening. Pont 21.(1600)

Dunfermline Tower Bridge, Fife.   308726,687279. Three layers of arch. The oldest portion is thought to date from 1611.  Nine ft. wide. Referred to as 'Gyrth-Bow' in the time of David I (14th C) connecting the two communities of Dunfermline. Bleau's Atlas (1640).

Dunglass Old Bridge, Berwickshire,377208,672321. A very old bridge with several reconstructions. First recorded in 1617. On the ancient Post Road going north. Semicircular barrel arch, thought to be from the 17thcentury. May be older in view of maps. Blaeu's Atlas (1640).

Dunshalt Bridge, Auchtermuchty. 324968,710167. Only appears on Blaeu. Not on Roy. single segmental late 18th century arch. Blaeu (1640)

Bridge of Fetterresso, Aberdeenshire. 385280,785565. Tiny semicircular arches. 7ft width widened to 13ft. May have been a packhorse rubble bridge. Pont 11.(1600)

Fintray Low Bridge.  263353,686311. Appears to be an 18th century segmental arch bridge and was noted to be under rebuild when Roy was surveying in 1750. Date-stone1696 was also a rebuild. Blaeu’s Atlas (1640)

Fleet Bridge,Gatehouse of Fleet. Known to exist in wood in 1610. Repairs in 1661. Now mainly the 1730 rebuild with widening in 1779. Probably nothing remains of the earlier period.  Blaeu (1640)

High Bridge of Ken, St. Johns Dalry. 261962,590194. Appears to be an 18th century bridge. The single pier is very wide. Semicircular arches. Blaeu(1640)

Kilmartin Bridge, Argyll. 183273, 698054 Looks like an18th century bridge. Single segmental arch with undressed random rubble. However, appears to be on Pont although location not certain. Pont15 (1600)

Laswade Bridge, Dalkeith 330387,666107 This old bridge is on the old road south to Melrose and Jedburgh. The two segmental arches are 18th century, perhaps later, but the piers and cutwaters may be older. Blaeu’s Atlas (1640).

Bridge of Loin. Inverness. 249405, 817400. Appears to be !8th century or perhaps early 19th. But clearly on Pont although nothing seems tor remain from that period. Pont 5 (1600)

Lugton Bridge, Midlothian,332969,667563 Currently 18thcentury arch and spandrels but lower abutment stonework appears older. Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Bridge of Lundies, Angus, 330128,752882. Semicircular arches. Spandrels appear to be from several periods. Pont 28 (1600).

Lynesmill Bridge Peebles. 321067,639863. This looks very much a late 18th century bridge. However, it appears on Blaeu’s Atlas.  Blaeu(1640)

Newbridge Bridge, Dumfries 294884,579096.   Appears on Blaeu and Pont. Widened and rebuilt. Spandrels in squared rubble, remarkably similar dressing to Dumfries bridge which suggests at least 1620.

Old Manor Bridge, Peebles. 323117,639397. A panel records 1702. Single segmental arch. 9 ft wide.  Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Philorth Bridge, Aberdeenshire. 401880,864401. Rendered surfaces. Difficult to date. Macfarlane confirms 1720s existence. Blaeu’s Atlas.(1640)

Priory Bridge, Lanarkshire.  267830,658414. Reputed link with the nearby 13thc. priory. Single span semicircular arch, but widened twice in 1910 and in 1809. The original ashlar arch is 10ft wide and of unknown age, but was thought to be 17thcentury. In view of old maps could be 16th century. Pont 34(1600) Blaeu's Atlas(1640).

Routin Bridge Dumfries. 288623,579720  Undetermined date and widened on each side. On side known to be 19th century there is a single span segmental arch. Areas of very different masonry on the spandrels. Downstream side is older.  This could have 16th century components with many repairs and restorations.. Pont 35 (1600) and Blaeu (1640)

Shiels Bridge, Fife 328363, 708600. Apparent 18th century 2 segmental arched bridge. But clear evidence of widening.  On both Pont and Blaeu.

Snuffmill Bridge, Glasgow. 258532,660136. This old bridge was rebuilt in the 18th century reputedly with stones from the original. Paintings show a semicircular arch whereas this one is segmental. Pont 33 (1600).

Page last updated Oct.2020