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Inverbervie, Bervie Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Inverbervie, Bervie Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Bervie Water; Inverbervie, Old Bridge; Old Bervie Bridge

Canmore ID 77760

Site Number NO87SW 52

NGR NO 83151 72905

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Arbuthnott
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NO87SW 52 83151 72906

For (predecessor) Bervie Bridge see NO87SW 22

For (adjacent, successor and present) New Bridge ('Bervie Jubilee Bridge'), see NO87SW 67.

(Location cited as NO 831 729). Old Bridge, built 1799. A single segmental arch 103 ft (31.4m). The arch ring is of dressed stone, and the spandrels and abutments are rubble-built. The abutments are hollow, with windows. Now by-passed, used as a footbridge.

J R Hume 1977.

Old Bervie Bridge: Single segmental arch, 103ft span, 80ft high, rubble, dressed voussoirs, pierced spandrels and and rusticated abutments containing vaulted cellars. Parapet rail dated 1799. Parapet rail dated 1799. Disused.

SDD List, undated.

This bridge carries the former line of the East Coast main road across the Bervie Water, which here forms the boundary between the parishes of Bervie and Kinneff.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 October 1997.

During October 2000, Old Bervie Bridge was visited and surveyed by a RCAHMS photographic team. The purpose of this survey was to enhance and augment the existing holdings of the National Monuments Record Scotland. At time of this, the bridge was still in use as foot bridge.

Visited by RCAHMS (MKO), August 2000.

Old Bervie Briudge, 1799, a single 103ft [31.4m] span with pierced spandrels and vaulted cellars for storing coal and lime in the abutments.

J Geddes 2001.


Publication Account (2007)

Inverbervie Bridge

This bridge spans the steep-sided valley of the Bervie Water

in an impressive single segmental masonry arch of 102 ft

span with a clearance above water level of 80 ft. The soffit

of the arch is 24 ft wide. The bridge, completed in 1799,

was designed and built by architect-engineer James Burn.To obviate thrust from fill material placed in the tall

spandrels and abutments, the roadway was supported on

a series of enclosed arched vaults, formerly used for coal

storage. Soon after construction it was found that some

elements of the blind arches and walls of the abutments

had not been built to the dimensions specified and were

showing signs of imminent failure. Burn was held responsible

for the defects. This may account for the later use of

70 wrought-iron tie rods between face plates to restrain any

outward wall movement.

The arch is constructed of dressed masonry and the

spandrels and abutments of coursed rubble. The spandrel

walls are decorated with occuli, an architectural device

used by both Burn and his brother George on their

bridges and, unusually, the abutments are pierced by

windows and door openings.

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1936 when it

was bypassed by the present multi-span reinforced

concrete bridge seen in the view.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

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

Publication Account (2013)

The first flax spinning mill in Scotland, using Kendrew and Porthouse’ patent, started here in 1787. There are several small water-powered mills and their warehouses dot the haugh, the valley below the town New Bervie, off Cowoff Cowgate, NO 8323 7283, NO87SW 68 1887; Pitcarry, by 1820, Upper, 1826 (NO 82368 73418, NO87SW 50), and Lint Mill 1832 (below Jubilee bridge), followed by three small steam powered mills up in the town: Laurel Mill (Church Street, 1877), Spring Works / Klondike Mill (warehouses off High Street, 1885, now a bus garage), Craigview Mill (High Street, 1907; closed 1992, replaced by a housing development.

There were three steam powered flax mills in nearby towns: Johnshaven, (1896, M13), Selbie in Gourdon (1908, closed 1997, demolished) and Invercarron, Stonehaven (1914, demolished). Selbie Works was the second last flax/ jute mill in Scotland, and its ability to switch from one material to another made it regarded as a barometer of the industry. These mills were able to operate as part of the Dundee industry thanks to the rail connection. Also see M12.

Inverbervie Old Bridge (NO 83143 7290) was built in 1797-9 by James Burn, 102ft (31.1m) span and 80ft (24.4m) high with vaulted embankments, chambers in the abutments reputedly a prison. It was bypassed by the curved new reinforced concrete 7-span Jubilee Bridge in 1935-6. At one end is a scale replica of the Cutty Sark figurehead. Hercules Linton, her designer, was born here.

M Watson, 2013


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