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Old Spey Bridge

Date Stone (18th Century), Road Bridge (18th Century)

Site Name Old Spey Bridge

Classification Date Stone (18th Century), Road Bridge (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Grantown-on-spey, Old Spey Bridge; River Spey

Canmore ID 15697

Site Number NJ02NW 20

NGR NJ 03977 26337

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/15697

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Cromdale, Inverallan And Advie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Badenoch And Strathspey
  • Former County Morayshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ02NW 20 039 263

For New Spey Bridge (NJ 033 268), see NJ02NW 21.

This bridge has 3 arches and is some 4m wide between the parapets. It is in good condition, but is closed to traffic (see NJ02NW 25). On the S side of the bridge is a standing stone commemorating the completion of the bridge in 1754.

Visited by OS (RB) 2 September 1966.

(Location cited as NJ 039 264). Old Spey Bridge, Grantown. This 3-span rubble bridge crosses the river Spey and was built as a miltary bridge in 1754. A weak design, it has unusually deep spandrels, which have been strengthened with old rail; the segmental arches increase in size towards the Moray side. The smallest arch was rebuilt after the great flood of 1829.

J R Hume 1977.

This bridge formerly carried the military road MR 9 across the River Spey, which here forms the boundary between the parishes of Cromdale and Abernethy, to the S of Grantown-on-Spey.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 23 October 1997.

This triple-arch stone military bridge of rubble construction was completed in 1754.

M Logie (Highland Council) 1997; NMRS MS 1007/7.

This 18th century military bridge over the River Spey (NJ02NW 20) was not recorded on the date of visit, but there is a stone slab (NJ 0396 2629) that has been set up adjacent to the S end of the W parapet to mark the completion either of the bridge or a section of the military road that reaches the bridge. It reads 'AD 1754 THE · COMPANEIS·OF·THE 33D·REGEMENT·THE·RIGHT·HONOURABL· LORD·CHARLES·HAY ·COLONEL·ENDED·

The slab measures 0.48m in maximum breadth by 0.13m in thickness and 0.75m in height; the top of the stone has been damaged.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 28 September 2006.

Activities

Construction (1801 - 1805)

The first bridge, spanning the Spey on this site, was built

from 1801–05

Construction (1829)

The great flood of 1829 destroyed the western river pier and the two fallen arches were replaced by a single 186 ft span formed with three timber arch ribs, one of Scotland’s most notable timber bridges.

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)

Old Spey Bridge, Fochabers

The first bridge, spanning the Spey on this site, was built from 1801–05. It was a symmetrical bridge with four spans of 75 ft, 95 ft, 95 ft and 75 ft. At the western end it abutted against a high outcrop of rock and at the east it was approached over an inclined embankment 1043 ft long. The bridge was designed by George Burn and built in partnership with his brother James. Although Telford was critical of the disposition of the piers, the masonry of the bridge, with Burn’s architectural detailing, was generally admired.

The great flood of 1829 destroyed the western river pier and the two fallen arches were replaced by a single 186 ft span formed with three timber arch ribs, one of Scotland’s most notable timber bridges. The ribs comprised curved laminated timbers ‘38 inches in depth at the spring and

34 inches at the crown, composed of three beams in depth, and two in thickness of eight inches each; the whole to be scarfed, overlapped and bolted together with wrought-iron bolts one and three-tenths inches

square’. The arch was designed by Archibald Simpson, Aberdeen architect, who dedicated the illustrated view of it to the Duke of Gordon. The contractors were William Minto and William Leslie. A model of this bridge can be seen in the museum at Fochabers.

In 1853 the timber arches were found to be affected by dry rot and were replaced by the present cast-iron arch ribs and posts. The bridge is now bypassed, the A98 road being carried on a modern steel box-girder bridge immediately to the north.

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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