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Bridge Of Earn

Road Bridge (15th Century)

Site Name Bridge Of Earn

Classification Road Bridge (15th Century)

Alternative Name(s) River Earn; Old Bridge Of Earn

Canmore ID 28015

Site Number NO11NW 14

NGR NO 13261 18527

NGR Description NO 1323 1847 to NO 1328 1856

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Dunbarney
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire


Field Visit (11 June 1964)

The base of a pier is to be seen above present water level near the NE bank of the river. The approach road from the north can be traced across the field from NO 1329 1857 to NO 1325 1873 where the modern road turns towards the new bridge.

Earthworks surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D L) 11 June 1964.

Desk Based Assessment (1964)

NO11NW 14 1323 1847 to 1328 1856

(NO 1326 1848) Old Bridge of Earn (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, (1959).

For (successor) New Bridge of Earn (NO 1320 1871 to 1316 1863) and motorway bridge (NO 1374 1839 to 1375 1831), see NO11NW 100 and NO11NW 101 respectively.

The existing fragment of the old bridge consists of two arches. There were formerly five arches, but a sixth was built circa 1760 as a northward extension. The grant of stone for the construction of a bridge is mentioned in a record dated 1329. The bridge is again mentioned in 1614.

NSA 1845.

The Old Bridge of Earn consists of two complete arches on the south bank and an abutment on the north bank of the river.

OS Name Book 1860.

Contemporary documents, including exchequer rolls, mention a bridge in 1329, 1402, 1409, and 1530 A.D. It was ruinous in 1592 A.D.

H R G Inglis 1913.

Information from Ordnance Survey Index Card.

Partial Demolition (1976)

The last two surving arches of the Old Bridge of Earn were demolished in 1976; only an abutment and approach ramp survive on the N side.

Publication Account (1986)

The old bridge at Bridge of Earn was an important late 15th- or early 16th-century stone arched bridge spanning the River Earn at its lowest crossing-point, a few miles upstream from its confluence with the River Tay. In its original form, the bridge was probably comparable with the existing four-arched structure at Stirling, but a fifth arch was added in about 1766 because of river erosion on the N bank. Measuring some 305 ft (93m) overall between the abutments of the Nand s approaches, it was finally abandoned and partly dismantled after 1822 upon the completion of a new bridge some 180m upstream . At the date of survey in 1970, the surviving remains of the old bridge consisted of two complete arches and piers on the S approach (demolished in 1976) together with vestiges of the approach road and abutment on the N bank , the portions on each side of the river being separated by a distance of 195 ft (59.44m).

Information from ‘Monuments of Industry: An Illustrated Historical Record’, (1986).

Field Visit (11 December 1996)

The last two surviving arches of the Old Bridge of Earn were demolished in 1976; only an abutment and approach ramp survive on the N side. The ramp is flanked by low stone parapets 6.2m apart that on the E surviving for a distance of about 16m. A surviving length of the original approach road to the N side of the bridge survives as a grass-grown mound stretching from the N side of the bridge (NO 1330 1860) to a point close to a modern bend in the old Perth to Edinburgh road (NO 1323 1869).

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, IF), 11 December 1996.

Archaeological Evaluation (1999)

NO 1325 1850 An archaeological evaluation was carried out on the known site of the medieval bridge to the E of the present bridge, in advance of the construction of a flood prevention scheme. Trial trenches uncovered mortared masonry that may relate to the approach road to the bridge. Trenches located along the river bank failed to uncover any material due to the presence of a modern revetment consisting of wire cages filled with stones.

Sponsor: Perth and Kinross Council.

R Will 1999.



Engineer: John Smeaton 1766. Gave opinion on building of additional arch at North end

John Adam 1765. Asked for his opinion on the securing of the bridge against flood damage.


Perth Burgh Records

Vol 1/1/3 - information on repairs to the bridge.

Non-Guardship Sites Plan Collection, DC23110-DC23114, 1910 & 1912


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