Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Glasgow, Rutherglen, Old Bridge

Road Bridge (18th Century)

Site Name Glasgow, Rutherglen, Old Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) River Clyde; Dalmarnock

Canmore ID 277654

Site Number NS66SW 959

NGR NS 6061 6309

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map


Administrative Areas

  • Council Glasgow, City Of
  • Parish Rutherglen (City Of Glasgow)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District City Of Glasgow
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NS66SW 959 c. 6061 6309

For successor and present bridge, see NS66SW 507.

The present Rutherglen Bridge (NS66SW 507) replaced a five-arched structure built in 1776.

J R Hume 1974.

The present Rutherglen Bridge (NS66SW 507) replaced the first Rutherglen Bridge, of five masonry arches, built 1774-5. Its engineer is said to have been James Watt during his early practice as a civil engineer.

E Williamson, A Riches and M Higgs 1990.

This bridge formerly carried a public road across the River Clyde between Rutherglen (to the S) and Dalmarnock (to the N). The river here forms the boundary between the parishes of Glasgow (to the N) and Govan (to the S).

The location cited for this bridge is inferred from that of the successor and present structure (NS66SW 507).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 12 December 2005.


Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

The original Rutherglen Bridge was a five-span segmental arch stone bridge, 16 ft wide between parapet faces, built in 1774–75 to the design of James Watt and costing about £2000. It had segmental arch spans from 60 ft–65 ft–70 ft, all with the same radius of 41 ft, and 1 in 25 gradients from the abutments to the centre. Watt drew the plan on 19 April 1774, during the same week that he was preparing plans for his Caledonian Canal proposal with 32 locks. The specification called for the piers to be founded on fir platforms 3 ft below the lowest part of the river bed surrounded by 4 in. grooved sheeting piles driven down 6 ft. Each pier was to be founded on 56, 9 in. diameter iron-shod bearing piles 8 ft long. Execution was to be within cofferdams until the masonry was brought above water, and the spaces between pile heads were to be filled with rammed rubble. Watt’s drawing shows weight reduction provision by means of spandrel cavitation above a central arch pier and in the longitudinal form practised by Smeaton at Perth Bridge (6-16). The outside spandrel walls were ‘to be 4 ft thick and the remaining space is to be divided into three by two walls of 20 in. running the lengthway of the bridge. These spaces are to be covered at the top by three Gothic (pointed) arches of two feet rise.’ Watt’s bridge, despite its narrowness and steep roadway, lasted well but the removal of the weir on completion of a temporary service bridge hastened its demise in 1890. The temporary bridge, of eight timber spans of 32 ft and a central steel span of 55 ft, was erected by Hugh Kennedy & Sons, Partick, at a cost of £2936.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions