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Brig O'turk

A Category B Listed Building in Trossachs and Teith, Stirling

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.229 / 56°13'44"N

Longitude: -4.3714 / 4°22'16"W

OS Eastings: 253089

OS Northings: 706582

OS Grid: NN530065

Mapcode National: GBR 0V.CFYB

Mapcode Global: WH3M8.TPLM

Entry Name: Brig O'turk

Listing Date: 5 October 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 335267

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4062

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Callander

County: Stirling

Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith

Parish: Callander

Traditional County: Perthshire

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Description

Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Dating from 1796, the Brig O'Turk is a wide rubble bridge over the River Turk, to the west of Brig O'Turk village. A bridge has existed at Brig O'Turk since at least 1451 and this bridge, built around the time of the post-Jacobite forfeited estate improvements that occurred throughout the Trossachs.

The river is spanned by a long segmental arch with horizontally set, narrow voussoirs. To the W side of the arch there is another secondary arch at a slightly higher level, midway up the embankment. The N and S abutments are of random rubble, and to the E side of the N elevation, the abutment incorporates a curved rubble retaining wall to support the steep banking. A shallow, splayed buttress sits to W side of the S arch. The bridge has a low rubble parapet wall at road level, with squared rubble caps. There is some concrete repointing to secure these caps. A section of the S parapet has been rebuilt on the E side and to the W side of the N parapet, the end of the wall has been demolished. The original ends of the parapets are well detailed, with arched ends returning to ground. The bridge was widened in the 1929, and has a modern (2004) tarmac road surface.

Materials

Rubble voussoirs; random rubble; squared rubble caps.

Statement of Interest

The Brig O'Turk, built in 1796, is one of the most famous and iconic sites in the Trossachs. The present bridge is one of many to have crossed the river Turk in this area, and was deliberately built in stone to last as its predecessor, as with other earlier bridges, had been washed away by the River Turk. Whilst the bridge was not within any of the forfeited estates of Strathgartney (the bridge and village of Brig O'Turk were within the estate of the Earl of Moray), the village is bounded on either side by forfeited estates which underwent improvements in the later 18th century. Part of these improvements was the building of new roads to improve transport communications, the road was already on a popular route with tourists to the inn at Ardcheanochrochan (rebuilt in 1849 as the Trossachs Hotel, see Tigh Mor Trossachs listing) and Loch Katrine.

A new road along the lochside was built around 1780 to cater for wheeled traffic as the previous route high above Loch Achray was steep and uncompromising, and the road cuts across several forfeited feus. The present bridge at Brig O'Turk was not built until 16 years after this new road, and was probably built to match the quality and durability of the forfeited estate improvements. The bridge is comparable in size and workmanship to several bridges built during these improvements, for instance at Kilmahog and Gartchonzie. The Trossachs popularity as a tourist destination increased even further after Sir Walter Scott wrote about the area in The Lady of the Lake (1810) and Roy Roy (1819). The bridge therefore became a well known and much used landmark within the area as tourists passed over it en-route for Loch Katrine, it still remains as such today, (2005).

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