The Craigellachie Bridge is owned by the Moray Council. The Friends of Craigellachie Bridge (local people with a passion and interest in the Craigellachie Bridge) formed in 2015 to celebrate the Craigellachie Bridge’s bi-centenary. We became a Scottish Registered Charity in April 2016 with the charitable objectives of promoting and stimulating the general knowledge of the Craigellachie Bridge and its surrounding area, along with providing information about the history, culture and heritage of the Bridge.
The Craigellachie Bridge is one of only a few engineering projects in Scotland that has been recognised as a landmark of importance by both the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers – it is right up there with the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
This historically significant Bridge sits in a dramatic environmental setting and is one of the finest and most innovative of more than a thousand bridges designed and erected under the direction of internationally renowned Thomas Telford. It was a masterpiece of practical design based on a unique combination of intuition and experience which made the most of cast iron’s tensile strength limitations and harnessed its compressive strength and longevity – before the development of “strength of materials” structural analysis and improved materials. It’s unique “spider’s web” delicacy-with-strength was achieved by distributing loadings throughout the whole framework through the use of elegant lozenge-lattice spandrels.
We have undertaken a number of tasks to improve the local area surrounding the bridge with a number of volunteers, please see the gallery here »
Craigellachie Bridge is a Road Bridge, now only used as a footbridge, built in 1812-1814, strengthened in 1902, restored in 1964, and formally closed to vehicular traffic in 1972.
It is the oldest surviving monumental cast iron bridge in Scotland. Designed by Thomas Telford, it has a single iron span of 45.7m, or 150 foot, with four parallel arches, each formed by a shallow, cross braced arch, above which the spandrels carrying the roadway are filled with a system of very slender radial struts forming lattice-girder braces, linking the arch to the roadway. It is supported by rustic ashlar abutments, with castellated terminals and rubble wing walls to the south, with similar end turrets flanking the bridge at the north with the abutments keyed into the cliff side.
Telford used his normal ironmaster William Hazeldine (‘Merlin’) and the ironwork was cast at Plas Kynaston. The ironwork was erected by William Stuttle, Telford's foreman, and the stonework was by John Simpson, mason, of Shrewsbury.
The bridge was opened on 1st November 1814.
You can read the 1812 Appeal for funding, the Subscribers to the appeal and the Aberdeen Journal's article about the opening, extracts from Robert Soothey's Tour in Scotland with Thomas Telford, The Great Flood of 1829's effect on the area and the bridge, technical drawings and more besides by exploring the links in the main menu.
In 2015 this iconic Scottish bridge was celebrated in a new set of Royal Mail stamps.
Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail, said of the 10 selections: "The story of Britain's engineering genius can be found in its bridges." Friends of Craigellachie Bridge hope the inclusion of the bridge could aid their bid to repair it. However Moray Council said that, while it would not allow the bridge to fall into serious disrepair, spending on it was not a current priority.