Castle Bridge, Over River Deveron, Huntly

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

General Details and Location

Category
AT RISK
Name of Building
Castle Bridge
Other Name(s)
Elgin's Bridge
Address
Over River Deveron, Huntly
Locality
Postcode
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
4986
Listing Category
A
OS Grid Ref
NJ 53268 40866
Location Type
Urban
HS Reference No
9081

Description

Probably 17th century (possibly with earlier fabric) with later strengthening (circa 1800) to W side. Single span, semi-circular arch rubble bridge of 40 feet with a narrow carriage width of nearly 9 feet and wider approaches. Chamferred ashlar voussoirs and intrados. Coped parapets. Sloping courses to foundations. Additional rubble buttressing to W pier (S side).

The Castle Bridge over the River Deveron is an important, early single span bridge in an area of outstanding historic interest, located between Huntly Castle and Huntly Lodge (Huntly Castle Hotel).
The form and design of the bridge is analogous with 17th century and earlier bridge building in Scotland, with a narrow, gentle humped carriageway between wider piers and increasing in width toward the foundations. The neatly dressed, chamfered and scrolled ashlar to the barrel arch and supports are indicative of pre-18th century bridge construction.
Information from Aberdeenshire Council in 2013 shows medieval masons marks on some of the stones, suggesting very early origins for this bridge although, as was common with this type of structure, it may have been repaired and rebuilt to some extent over the centuries.
The 'Old Statistical Accounts of Scotland' (1791-99) describes the bridge as a very ancient but strong single-arch bridge over the river Deveron nigh to the remains of Huntly Castle, which leads to Huntly Lodge [now Huntly Castle Hotel] through a broad avenue shaded with trees of various kinds. It also notes that the bridge made journeys northward to Keith and Portsoy possible during periods of flood. Iron bands, added to strengthen the bridge against possible flood waters, are also mentioned in the Statistical Accounts and remain evident at sections of the base and foundations. The bridge is depicted on the 1776 Road Survey Map by Taylor and Skinner and a bridge at this location is also shown on earlier maps including Herman Moll (1745) and William Roy (c.1750).
The bridge, known locally as Elgin's Bridge, became part of a processional drive between Huntly Castle to the south and Huntly Lodge to the north (see separate listing) in the early 18th century when the first phase of Huntly Lodge was built.
Plans for a bridge by the architect and engineer, George Burn of Fochabers (dated 1800, Huntly Lodge) were thought to possibly relate to 'Castle Bridge', but the dimensions of the bridge as described are much closer to those of nearby Gibston Bridge (completed 1803).
Change of category from B to A and list description revised, 2013. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Probably 17th century potentially incorporating earlier fabric; strengthened circa 1800
Architects

Category of Risk and Development History

Condition
Poor
Category of Risk
High
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
27/10/2010, 16/10/2013
Development History
October 2010: Inspection finds a partly collapsed retaining abutment parapet threatening the integrity of this old bridge. The Press and Journal reported in Feb 2009, severe frosts with heavy snow, followed by a rapid thaw, are believed to have weakened the bridge leading to a partial collapse.
5 June 2013: The bridge is awarded £100,000 grant-aid towards restoration from Historic Scotland's Building Repair Fund.
19 July 2013: The bridge has been upgraded from Category B to A following research into the bridge after the identification of medieval mason marks on some of the masonry by Aberdeenshire Council. Register entry updated accordingly.
16 October 2013: External inspection finds the bridge remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
28 October 2013: Listed Building Consent for repairs and stabilisation of the bridge is being sought ref: APP/2013/3380.
11 April 2014: The Huntly conservation area boundary was extended in 2013 and now includes the bridge.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Huntly
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01467 620981

Availability

Current Availability
Unknown
Appointed Agents
Price
Occupancy
Vacant
Occupancy Type
N/A
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Type of Ownership
Unknown

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Bibliography
Online Resources
Classification
Roads and Paths
Original Entry Date
07-JUL-11
Date of Last Edit
10/02/2015