|Location Map ( geo)|
|A879 • Military Way|
The site of Balmuildy Bridge is an ancient crossing point of the River Kelvin. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that the Romans built a bridge here nearly 2000 years ago! The current structure is a twin arch stone bridge of uncertain date. The masonry is very plain in appearance, favouring a pre-Victorian construction date, although it seems unlikely that it is the medieval bridge that is known to have stood here.
The bridge appears to be in a poor condition. The eastern parapet has been lost, and replaced with temporary concrete barriers on the pavement, while the western side of the bridge seems to bow out quite alarmingly. However there is no obvious signs of concern from the local highways department, suggesting that the bowing may have been caused by settlement shortly after the bridge was completed. Equally, the concrete barrier looks like it has been there for quite some time!
Alongside the bridge to the east is another structure across the river. This is part of the Glasgow water supply system, carrying two very large mains water piper into the city. The structure has been adapted to also carry a timber walkway, allowing walkers on the Kelvin Way to safely cross the river here, whilst avoiding the old road bridge.
This stretch of the River Kelvin has been dredged a number of times in the last century, and on several occasions blocks of Masonry with Roman toolmarks have appeared. Experts agree that these blocks come from a bridge, or at least the abutments to a bridge, which would have crossed the Kelvin. The exact location of the original structure is not known. It would have carried the Military Way, but even the course of that is uncertain, and examinations of the river banks have yielded no further clues as yet. It seems likely that the bridge would have had stone abutments, perhaps a stone central pier, and a timber deck.