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General George Wade

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George Wade
Aberfeldy Bridge, Wade's masterpiece of 1733
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Born:   1673
Died:   14/3/1748
Operated:   Scottish Highlands

George Wade was born in Ireland in 1689, and entered military service almost as soon as he could. He rose quickly through the ranks, serving both across Europe and in the first Jacobite Rebellion in 1715. In 1725 he was appointed as Commander in Chief for Scotland, and one of his tasks, which started a year before, was to ensure that the Jacobites could not rebel again. His plans were quickly draw up and saw the construction of a number of forts across the Highlands, and roads connecting them together and to the south.

Unfortunately, failing health meant that Wade was unable to take a full part in the second Jacobite rebellion, and he died a couple of years later. His long time assistant Major William Caulfeild took over from Wade in 1746 as engineer to the Military Roads, substantially extending the network.


The main roads that he built were:


Main Article: General Wades Bridges

He also built a small number of bridges, including the famous bridge across the Tay at Aberfeldy and the now derelict High Bridge at Spean Bridge.

List of Crossings

Crossing On Road Opening Date
Aberfeldy Bridge B846
Inverfarigaig Bridge B852

General George Wade
Road and Bridge Builders
pre-Victorian EngineersMajor William Caulfeild • Abraham Darby • John McAdam • Robert Mylne • John Rennie • John Smeaton • Thomas Telford • General George Wade
Victorian EngineersIsambard Kingdom Brunel • Joseph Mitchell
20th Century EngineersOwen Williams
Engineering CompaniesCleveland Bridge Company • Fairhurst Engineering • Stevenson Family

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