NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Bid to trace owners of iconic Craigellachie Bridge

Craigellachie Bridge Image copyright Undiscovered Scotland

A search has been launched to establish who actually owns one of Scotland's most iconic bridges.

The Craigellachie Bridge in Speyside was built by Thomas Telford more than 200 years ago.

The cast iron 150ft (46m) bridge is over the River Spey.

It had generally been assumed the bridge was owned by Moray Council, which carries out maintenance. However, the local authority has confirmed it does not actually own the bridge.

The Friends of Craigellachie Bridge group now aims to solve the mystery of who the owners are.

It is hoped that establishing ownership could help the bridge become more of a tourist attraction.

Image copyright Royal Mail
Image caption The bridge has been celebrated by the Royal Mail

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who is backing efforts to identify the owner, said it was a "bizarre" situation.

He said: "We need to find out who owns it so the local community has more of a say over its future."

Telford was born in Westerkirk in 1757 and is known as one of the country's finest civil engineers.

Raised in poverty, he became an apprentice stonemason at the age of 14.

The Craigellachie Bridge was cast in sections in Wales, and transported by sea to the Moray Firth.

From there, it was taken by horse-drawn wagons to Craigellachie.

It is believed to be the oldest surviving example of Telford's classic prefabricated lozenge-lattice arch design.

The bridge was celebrated in a new set of Royal Mail stamps in 2015.

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