|Location Map ( geo)|
Bannockburn Bridge carries the A9 over the Bannock Burn near Stirling, and is a most striking structure built by Thomas Telford in 1819. Easily accessible from the park along the river bank, the bridge is well worth a visit, as it sports an intriguing set of bracing below the tall main arch, reminiscent of the more famous Scissor Arches in Wells Cathedral. The river lies deep below the general lie of the land here, which caused Telford to build an embankment across the valley, leading to the bridge. The main arch is therefore tall and narrow, and there were concerns that the weight of earth in the embankment would put undue pressure on the bridge abutments. The solution, therefore, was two place a series of braces below the main arch to hold the two abutments apart.
The braces take the form of 3 stone beams, arched below and with inverted arches above which form a circle with the main arch at the top. It give the impression of a later addition to prevent collapse, but they were integral to the original design. The bridge has, however, been adapted over the years, and the iron beam on the outside of the bridge was part of a widening of the structure when the road was improved around a century later.