“The Brig o’ Balgownie (originally Bridge of Don) is a 13th-century bridge spanning the River Don in Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.Wikipedia Page
Construction of the bridge was begun in the late 13th century by Richard Cementarius, although its completion was not until 1320 at the time of the Scottish War of Independence. After falling into disrepair in the mid 16th century it was extensively renovated in 1605.
Throughout its history the bridge has been considered an important asset. For five centuries possession of the bridge was the only way to move large armies quickly along the eastern coast of Aberdeenshire. It also provided a trade route to the wealthy areas of the north-east of Scotland.
The bridge is constructed of granite and sandstone. Its single gothic arch has span of over 12 metres and at low tide the apex of the arch lies over 17 metres above the water-line.”
Local legend suggests that this bridge was started by Bishop Henry Cheyne in the late 13th or early 14th century and completed by Robert the Bruce. Whilst this may or may not be true, historical documents show that the bridge we see today was the result of rebuilding work in three phases in the early 17th century.
This was the main crossing on the Don leading to the north from Aberdeen and vice versa prior to the construction of the adjacent Bridge of Don in 1831. Today the Brig o’ Balgownie is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
It is situated over a deep pool known as the Black Neuk. It has attracted much interest from various sources and features in Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)’s poem, Don Juan:
“As ‘Auld Lang Syne’ brings Scotland, one and all,VisitAberdeenshire
Scotch plaids,Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams,
The Dee, the Don, Balgounie’s brig’s black wall,
All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall,
Like Banquo’s offspring; – floating past me seems
My childhood in this childishness of mine:
I care not – ’tis a glimpse of ‘Auld Lang Syne.”
|Brig o’ Balgownie at The Doric Columns|