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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Freswick Castle, Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Freswick Castle, Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Can 070; Freswick House, Bridge; Freswick Bridge; Burn Of Freswick; Cruelty Hoose

Canmore ID 9290

Site Number ND36NE 37

NGR ND 37777 67120

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Canisbay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND36NE 37 37777 67120

For Freswick House (Freswick Castle) and associated buildings, see ND36NE 3.

Interesting, single arched, 18th century bridge of local rubble with armorial bearings of the Sinclair family on the north side. It has been widened but not recently.

HBD list undated.

20.96m long, 8.7m wide and 6.76m in maximum height, with a 'prisoners cell' within the north wall.

C E Batey 1982.

Freswick House (ND36NE 3) is approached over a single-span bridge, which is known to have existed in 1726. Within the wide masonry abutment, there is a small mural chamber, the Cruelty Hoose, allegedly used as a prison.

E Beaton 1996.

This bridge carries the estate road leading to Freswick House over the Burn of Freswick (also known as the Freswick Burn) in front of the house.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 5 April 2006.


Project (1980 - 1982)

Field Visit (1982)

20.96m long, 8.7m wide and 6.76m in maximum height, with a 'prisoners cell' within the north wall.

C E Batey 1982.

Publication Account

Freswick Bridge

(Institute Civil Engineers Historic Engineering Works no. HEW 1501)

A typical 17th or early-18th century segmental rubble masonry arch bridge, in existence in 1726, of about 13 ft span at the approach to Sinclair of Freswick’s house, on whatwas originally themain coast road. Itwas subsequently widened on the upstream side. The bridge is unusual in having what is reputed to be a prison cell in the abutment. The Sinclair coat of arms is above its window (see Paxton and Shipway, 2007, 226).

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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