|Location Map ( geo)|
|Crossings related to the A93|
Invercauld Bridge, also known as Bridge of Dee crosses the River Dee near Invercauld, between Crathie (Balmoral) and Braemar on the A93. There are actually two bridges here, the Old Bridge of Dee dating back to 1753 and built by Major Caulfeild as part of the military road from Perthshire through the mountains to Speyside. However, after just over a century it was superceded. The main reason behind this appears to be Queen Victoria, as in 1852 she and her husband Albert, had bought Balmoral.
The old main road through Deeside ran along the south side of the river between Ballater and Braemar, with the Old Bridge of Dee connecting to the military road which crossed from the north bank. However, the old South Deeside Road ran very close to the Queen's new castle, and concerned about her privacy she, or perhaps more precisely, her Government approved the new Turnpike act in 1855 which saw a new road built along the north bank of the river, and the present Invercauld Bridge constructed to connect it to the old road into Braemar.
The Old Bridge of Dee
Consisting of two substantial spans across the river and two lesser flood arches on the banks, the Old Bridge of Dee is an imposing structure, especially when seen from its successor. The stonework is very light in colour, and from the newer bridge the arches seem to step down, providing a dramatic sight.
Naturally, the reality is not quite so dramatic! There are two arches spanning the river, with a substantial buttressed pier between them. The northern arch sits under the peak of the hump-backed bridge and is quite possibly the largest arch of any of the bridges on the military road network. To the north of this arch are three smaller flood arches on the bank, each separated by large buttresses on the piers, and there is also a single flood arch on the south bank. It is the three southern arches, stepping down in size, which are visible from the newer bridge.
New Invercauld Bridge
As mentioned above, this bridge was built in 1859 as the final part of the new turnpike road along the north bank of the Dee, away from Balmoral. It is wider than the older bridge, still able to carry a modern S2 road, and built a little upstream, around a slight bend, which provided a better angle for the carriageway.
Consisting of 5 equal spans, there are 3 arches across the river channel, including two piers in the riverbed and then an additional, smaller, flood arch on either bank, which seem to be regularly used as fishermens access. The bridge is clad in rough 'rustic' stonework, with slightly projecting cutwaters and a smooth ashlar cornice at deck level. It is believed that the architect may have been the same William Smith who worked on Balmoral itself. The bridge was paid for by Prince Albert.