Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Old Tummel Bridge carrying former military road over River Tummel, including 2 milestones, Tummel BridgeLB5742

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
05/10/1971
Last Date Amended
09/02/2021
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Planning Authority
Perth And Kinross
Parish
Blair Atholl, Dull
NGR
NN 76245 59180
Coordinates
276245, 759180

Description

The bridge is an early 18th century double arched hump-backed military bridge crossing the River Tummel. It is located immediately to the south-east of the modern road bridge and is now only in pedestrian use. It is rubble built and with later cement render parapets surviving on either side of the carriageway. The main arch bridges the tummel with a smaller relief arch to the north. The bridge is sprung from rubble masonry abutments on bedrock on either side of the river. Two worn milestones are located at the north end of the bridge against the west parapet wall.

Historical Development:

There was an estimated total of 1700km of military road built in Scotland (approximately 400km by General Wade and 1300km by Major Caulfeild) between the early 1720s and the late 1750s.

The first programmes of work started in 1725 Under Wade's command, Repairs were made to various fortifications including Edinburgh Castle and at Fort William and new forts were built at Inverness (Fort George) and Killihuimen (Fort Augustus). Road communications and connections were improved between the garrisons at Fort William, Fort Augustus and Fort George. The roads programme then focused on expanding the network between Dunkeld and Inverness (later known as 'The Great North Road') with branches connecting Crieff to the Great North Road at Dalnacardoch (later known as 'The Second Great North Road') and Fort Augustus to the Great North Road at Dalwhinnie. The second major programme of works was overseen by Wade's successor, Major William Caulfeild, with branches constructed, from 1741 onwards, between: Crieff and Stirling, an incomplete build between Dumbarton and Inverary, Stirling to Fort William, Coupar Angus to Fort George, and Amulree to Dunkeld.

This bridge relates to the Crieff to Dalnacardoch road. It was constructed in between 1730 and 1734. A brass plaque on the bridge is dated 1730 and the Ordnance Survey recorded in 1974 that there was an inscription reading "1733 Renv. 1973". The bridge appears relatively unaltered; conservation works were carried out in 2011 and it is likely that the inscription noted by the Ordnance Survey relates to works in the early 1970s. It ceased to have been used as road bridge when the current bridge carrying the B846 was built.

Statement of Special Interest

The Old Tummel Bridge meets the criteria of special architectural or historic interest for the following reasons:

  • The design is characteristic of military bridge construction of the period and it is a particularly well-preserved example of a typical Wade bridge.
  • The remote nature of its setting has largely been retained. Forming part of a wider network of 18th century military infrastructure, the grouping is also of special interest.
  • Although surviving examples of 18th century bridges are not particularly rare in Scotland, the bridge is important as it is a largely unaltered example of its date and type and forms part of a larger military network that has had a lasting impact on both the culture and physical landscape of the Scottish Highlands.
  • The bridge is of social historical interest, as the large-scale military building programme under which it was built, had a significant impact on Highland culture. The network also tells us about the wider political and military situation in Scotland in the mid 18th century, during the period of the Jacobite Risings.
  • The bridge and the wider network of routes has close historical associations with people and events of national importance. The military road building programme had very significant political and social impacts on the Highlands of Scotland during the 18th century. The roads and bridges are directly associated with Major General George Wade and Major William Caulfeild, who oversaw the planning and construction of the network.

Architectural Interest

Design

The bridge has the characteristic design of military bridges built as part of the early 18th century road building programme under Major General Wade. These bridges were designed to be built quickly, usually by soldiers of various British Army regiments or contracted groups of local men. They were built using locally available materials and often the same formwork was reused for efficiency. They were specifically designed to accommodate heavy loads including troops, horses and wagons. Their functional purpose is reflected in their relatively plain design, which features no decorative stonework or embellishments. This was typical of stone-built bridges of the period.

This bridge is a notable example of a Wade bridge. It formed part of a much wider network of military roads and bridges. The fabric and plan form are relatively unchanged It is estimated that 940 bridges were constructed as part of this network, however, the majority of these have been extensively altered or are of less interest in terms of their design and scale.

Age and Rarity

Although surviving examples of 18th century bridges are not particularly rare in Scotland, the bridge is important as it is largely unaltered and forms part of a larger military network that has had a lasting impact on both the culture and physical landscape of the Scottish Highlands. The survival of this bridge compliments other elements of the wider road network in this area, notably Old Trinafour Bridge (LB6052) and Drochaid Dail an Fhrasich Bridge over River Garry (LB6017). The relationship between these elements add to the special interest of this bridge.

Social historical interest

The bridge is of social historical interest, as the large-scale military building programme under which it was built, had a significant impact on Highland culture. As a result of the 1715 Jacobite rising, the government saw the discontent towards the Hanoverian rule and began to impose control by constructing town and city garrisons and building permanent barracks.

Association with people or events of national importance

The bridge has close historical associations with people of national importance. In 1724, Major General Wade was instructed to "narrowly inspect the situation of the Highlands" (Salmond, 42). In same year, Wade reported back to the King and was thereafter appointed as Commander of Forces in Northern Britain. He was succeeded in 1739 by Major William Caulfeild, who was appointed Inspector of Roads. Caulfeild had previously worked under Wade as a young officer and was then appointed Inspector of Roads.

Further association with these roads is indicated in their use by Bonnie Prince Charlie and during the Jacobite forces during the uprising of 1745. Wade's roads into the Highlands were utilised by the government forces but also had the unseen consequence of allowing the Jacobite army to move quickly into the Lowlands. When moving back into the Highlands in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie sent his troops on the Crieff to Dalnacardoch road and sent the artillery along the easier Dunkeld to Inverness road. Both the Jacobite and British forces continued to use the Great North Road and Second Great North Road until defeat of the Jacobite forces at Culloden in April 1746.

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2021. Previously listed as 'Tummel Bridge'.

References

Bibliography

Ang, T., and Pollard, M., 1984, Walking the Scottish Highlands – General Wade's Military Roads, Andre Deutsch Limited: London

Bruce, R., 1931, 'The Great North Road over the Grampians', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers' 232 (2):113-30

Curtis, G.R., 1978-80, 'Roads and Bridges in the Scottish Highlands: the Route between Dunkeld and Inverness 1725-1925', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 110: pp.475-96

Farquharson, L. 2011, General Wade's Legacy: The 18th Century military road system in Perthshire, Perth and Kinross Trust, Farquhar and Son: Perth

Mackenzie, K., 1895-99, 'Military Roads', The Inverness Scientific Society and Field Club, 5: pp364-384

Millar, R., 1967, 'The Road North', Scottish Geographical Magazine, 83 (2), 78-88

Ruddock, T., 1979, Arch Bridges and their Builders 1735-1835, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Salmond, J.B., 1938, Wade in Scotland, The Dunendin Press Limited: Edinburgh

Skelton, R.A, 1967, The Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 83(1):pp.5-16

Taylor, W., 1976, The Military Roads in Scotland, SRP Limited: Exeter

Wallace, T., 1911, 'Military Bridges and Fortifications in the Highlands with Bridges and Milestones', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 45: pp 318-33

"Commander in Chief of all his Majesty's Forces, Castles, Forts and Barracks in Northern Britain", Letter-book of Field Marshall George Wade, 1725-1732. Manuscript held at National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. MS7187

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Images

General view of Tummel military road bridge taken from the northeast with replacement road bridge to south and a with house in the background.
View of southeast elevation of Tummel military road bridge with replacement road bridge in background, with blue sky.

Map

Map

Printed: 16/08/2022 23:30