|Location Map ( geo)|
|Dumfries and Galloway|
The Ken Bridge spans the Water of Ken just east of New Galloway. It was built in 1824, and one of the last to be completed under the guidance of John Rennie. The opening of the bridge followed a long, protracted series of events which started with the construction of the first bridge here in 1797. This had been washed away less than a decade later in 1806, but it was 1812 before tenders for a replacement were submitted. Both Rennie and Thomas Telford submitted designs, but it was a three stone arch bridge by a local mason which was selected. Unfortunately, just over a year after work started, this too was washed out in 1815, and it was 1820 before work re-started with Rennie's bridge.
The bridge still stands, little changed, and comprises 5 arches, the largest in the centre, with a gentle curve to the roadway. This makes it near impossible to see oncoming traffic across the bridge, and while it is possible for two cars to squeeze past each other, larger vehicles are generally tall enough to be seen approaching. The two side arches are essentially flood arches, with the pier sited on the edge of the river bank at most states of the river. However, the two central piers are set in the riverbed. The bridge is a prominent landmark when approaching from the west, and indeed through the trees from the north. At its eastern end, the A712 almost immediately meets the A713 at a staggered crossroads, with a substantial Inn set at the junction.