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Newtonmore, Spey Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Newtonmore, Spey Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Newtonmore Bridge; River Spey

Canmore ID 111710

Site Number NN79NW 26

NGR NN 70876 98015

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/111710

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kingussie And Insh
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Badenoch And Strathspey
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NN79NW 26 70876 98015

For predecessor Old Spey Bridge (NN c. 7087 9801), see NN79NW 58.

Spey Bridge [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, [no date available].

(Location cited as NN 709 980). Newtonmore Bridge: this handsome bridge was built by Owen Williams and Maxwell Aryton in 1926, on what is now the B9150 near Newtonmore. It is the largest of those built at the modernisation of the A9.

Now neglected, it inclines from S to N across the 260ft [79.3m] wide valley; the N approach road is embanked.

The three arches decrease in size not only in height but also in width, the spans being 107ft [32.6m], 87ft [26.5m] and 67ft [20.4m] respectively. The voussoirs and parapet are moulded, and there are semi-hexagonal refuges at each end. Unlike Williams' bridge at Findhorn (NH82NW 69), this is a traditional shape for a masonry bridge, yet the concrete allows for effects that coursed stone cannot achieve in a bridge this size.

The spandrels are curved outwards, being 5ft [1.5m] thick at the bases and only 1ft [0.3m] at the parapet. The designers used the vertical expansion joints in the concrete to articulate thisspandrel curve, but this is now less evident than was intended on account of the growth of dark lichen. The smooth voussoirs come round and jut like the keels of boats, or massive arrowheads.

The piers have stepped bases, and are set on rocky outcrops in the river, which here flows gently between pebbly banks, and has a normal maximum depth of 30ft [9.1m]. Only the largest arch is normally over the river.

G Nelson 1990.

This bridge carries the former line of the A9 (T) public road (now the B9150) over the River Spey to the SW of Newtonmore.

The location assigned to this record defines the apparent midpoint of the structure. The available map evidence suggests that it extends from NN c. 70874 98028 to NN c. 70879 98001.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 7 April 2006.

Activities

Build (1925 - 1926)

Built in 1925–26 on the A9 road improvement carried the road over the Spey but it has since been bypassed. It was designed by Sir Owen Williams in conjunction with the architect Maxwell Ayrton, and the contractors were Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.

Publication Account (2007)

(Institute Civil Engineers Historic Engineering Works no. HEW 1765)

Spey Bridge, Newtonmore The roadway across this triple-span bridge falls on a gradient of 1 in 25 from the south and limits the headroom of the arches to create an asymmetrical structure. The bridge, built in 1925–26 on the A9 road improvement carried the road over the Spey but it has since been bypassed. It was designed by Sir Owen Williams in

conjunction with the architect Maxwell Ayrton, and the contractors were Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons. Other examples of their bridge work exist at Dalnamein (NN76NE 23), Tomatin (NH82NW 33), Crubenmore (NN69SE 4.00) and Loch Alvie (NH80NE 93).

It is a traditional arched bridge with hearting constructed of reinforced concrete in lieu of masonry and founded on rock outcrops. The largest span is 107 ft with the adjacent spans reducing to 87 ft and 67 ft respectively. The fillmaterial is retained by spandrel walls, tapering with pronounced vertical curvature from 5 ft thick at their base to 1 ft at the

parapet. The vertical expansion joints in the spandrels are strongly expressed as an architectural feature.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.

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