Loups Bridge is another of John Justice Jr's structures. We'd been to his other bridges at Crathie, Kirkton of Glenisla, and Haugh of Drimmie, and Loups Bridge completes the set: the only other Justice bridge known to survive.
Loups Bridge spans the River North Esk not far from Edzell. I guess it is named for the waterfall which cuts through a rocky channel just below it, "loups" referring to a salmon leap.
The bridge is on private land, and I'm not clear whether normal Scottish rights of access to walk across the land apply, as it is in the grounds of a partially residential building. The Happy Pontist had obtained permission from the landowner to visit the bridge on this occasion.
The bridge has two spans, supported by a masonry pier at its centre. The RCAHMS website lists the spans as 9m and 10m, but also states 15m and 17.4m, while Ruddock's paper lists two equal 36 foot spans. I don't know which is right.
The bridge is Listed Grade B, and seems of considerable historic importance as a rare example of the Justice family's work, and also as one of the earliest surviving stayed bridges in the UK. Its exact date of construction is unknown. It may possibly pre-date the stayed footbridge at Kirkton of Glenisla, which was built in 1824, or the Haugh of Drimmie bridge from 1823.
Unlike the other Justice bridges that we visited, Loups Bridge is derelict. Very little of it remains, and it would be foolhardy to try and walk across it. It is more than a ghost of a bridge, but only barely so.
From what can be seen, it's clear that the bridge's skeleton must have been exceptionally slender even by the standards of other Justice spans. The stay rods and cross-members are tiny in cross-section, and the odd arched pylons above the pier are not made out of anything more substantial. There are two wire-like stringers which must once have been below a timber deck, and I would guess there were once longitudinal edge members providing tension ties to the inclined stays. Most of what now remains would once have formed the wire-fence balustrades.
It would make for a very interesting restoration project, but I suspect this bridge is well past the point where it can be repaired.