16 February 2012

Scottish Bridges: 17. Craigmin Bridge

I've been having a look through some of my older photos and thought I'd post a few on here, bridges I've not visited recently but which are interesting enough to feature. The first two or three are all from Scotland.

Craigmin Bridge is one of Scotland's great hidden secrets. I always think of it as Scotland's Pont du Gard, although it's clearly not as spectacular. I discovered it thanks to Gillian Nelson's brilliant book Highland Bridges, and without prior knowledge, it's not something you'd stumble upon, located as it is on a private estate at the end of a farm track near Buckie in north-east Scotland.

My photos only really hint at what is there: to properly understand it, you could try the photo linked from the Google Map below, or Nelson's book has an excellent picture.

The bridge is in multiple tiers. The lowest is a single segmental arch spanning the Burn of Buckie. Above this sit two semi-circular arches, each resting on the centre of the lower arch. The central pier between these arches is pierced at a higher level by a further arch, and above that, still another tiny arch forms a niche within the parapet.

The centre pier on the middle level is hollow, containing a small room which can be reached by doorways in the mid-level arch barrels. The purpose of the room is unknown, as this is not a bridge which has any form of recorded history.

Nor is it clear whether the lowest arch was built first, with the others added later, or whether they were all built together, perhaps at the same time as the nearby Robert Adam-designed Letterfourie House (1773).

It's an excellent bridge, and well worth a visit.

Further information:


Bob Cortright said...

Marvelous bridge!

I found Gillian Nelson's book just after visiting the highlands and used it to fill in the blanks on the bridges that I had seen. Too bad I didn't know about the Craigmin Bridge as I was quite near it on my travels.

Gillian's photo is certainly superior to the others, but as she says in her book, "-- a thoroughly "romantic" bridge to be viewed and appreciated from the banks of the stream which might then have been less wooded - - "

A chain-saw would sometimes be a big help in bridge photography.

Bridge Ink

Bob Cortright said...

Terrific bridge!

Gillian's picture is great. I sometimes think a chain-saw wuld be a big help for bridge photography.

Bob Cortright
Bridge Ink

The Happy Pontist said...

It's a good few years since I visited Craigmin, so I don't know whether it's any more visible now. I suspect the reverse is probably true. It has the potential to be a minor tourist attraction if the landowner were to take an interest.

Anonymous said...

Hi i recently moved to drybridge and stumbled upon this bridge while out walking. Its easy to get to but the banks are steep which makes it hard to get to the arches. Its ashame the owner has not looked after this as its beautiful. But i did manage to take some lovely photos of it.

Anonymous said...

Visited today. Magnificent, mysrerious (no history) and somewhat sad. Will it survive time and neglect? About 20 years ago I'm sure I drove over this bridge to look at a property for sale on the estate. Not possible now.

Christine said...

I was there last night got some nice pictures of the arches all the woods near the bridge has been cut right back but very steep incline very slippery.