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Butter Bridge

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Butter Bridge
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Glen Kinglas
Highway Authority
Transport Scotland
Opening Date
On road(s)
Crossings related to the A83
Crossings related to the Argyll Coastal Route

The Butter Bridge crosses the Allt Kinglas in Glen Kinglas to the west of the Rest and be Thankful. It takes its name from the historic tradition of bringing cattle high up into the glen in the summer months for pasture. It was often the women who tended to the cattle, milking them and so producing butter and cheese in this remote spot.

The Old Bridge

There are two bridges across the stream today, and the older one is, quite obviously, the small stone arch that no longer carries traffic. It was built, as part of the military road network connecting Inveraray with Glasgow via the Rest and be Thankful, sometime before 1768, when the road was apparently repaired.

The structure is a very simple affair, with a single arched stone span crossing the stream. The stone of the parapets is very rough rubble, although that for the arch stones is slightly better cut, suggesting that it was quarried locally as was the normal manner. The bridge is humpbacked, and probably slightly narrower than the normal 15-18 foot width used for the roads.

The New Bridge

The new bridge at Butter Bridge

Obviously, this little bridge was unsuitable for modern traffic, so a new bridge has been constructed a little upstream. This has the added benefit of providing a much gentler sweeping descent of the pass than the military road took.

The new bridge is a two-span concrete structure with stone parapets and facings, similar in design to those constructed on the A82 in the early 1930's. Sadly, however, there is no date stone on this structure. The central pier is in fact two legs, joined by a concrete beam under the deck, presumably due to the flow of the stream, although the pier seems to be set on rock well clear of the water level.

The deck itself is of interest, with the road curving round the bend the whole concrete deck slab appears to have been cast on the camber and curvature of the road, rather than simply building this up on a level slab.

Butter Bridge
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