Statement of Special Interest
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.