Bridge of Allan
|Bridge of Allan|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Bridge of Allan|
Bridge of Allan is a town in Stirlingshire, named after the bridge in question that crosses the Allan Water.
The first record of a Bridge being constructed across the Allan Water near this site is in 1520, when a narrow stone arch bridge was constructed to replace the old ford. It is described as a 'Hogs Back' bridge, and presumably consisted of a number of arches across the various channels of the river, with the widest and highest spanning the main channel.
Two hundred years later, the bridge was chosen as the start point for the Military Roads northwest to Callander and so on to Fort William. There is currently no known record of Caulfeild rebuilding the bridge, however. It seems likely that the bridge was either replaced or widened in the Victorian era, if not earlier by Thomas Telford, as a narrow Packhorse Bridge structure would have been insufficient for the volume of traffic then using the Great North Road to Perth and beyond.
The Current Bridge
The current structure, bears a datestone (which I failed to notice on my recent visit), but presumably dates from the late 1960s, as the old alignment is still shown on maps from c1960. It is a single, wide span Concrete Arch bridge, carrying what was originally a dual carriageway across the river. Modern traffic measures have led to parking bays on the bridge itself, and the junctions at either end converted to mini roundabouts.
Beneath the bridge is an unusual weir, which seems to almost run longitudinally along the river, and provides a feed to a mill lade. Downstream of the bridge, where the old bridge once stood, the river splits into a series of channels around small islands, although whether these are man made - linked to the weir and mill - or natural is uncertain.