Renovation work starts on historic bridge

The historic Linlathen East Bridge, Scotland's oldest ironwork bridge, pictured before the onset of work last Monday.
The historic Linlathen East Bridge, Scotland's oldest ironwork bridge, pictured before the onset of work last Monday.

RESTORATION work on Scotland’s oldest ironwork bridge began last Monday in Broughty Ferry.

The Linlathen East Bridge, built around 1796 has become the focus of efforts for Dundee company Land & Building Services, who hope to restore the structure to its’ former glory.

Derek Robertson, speaking for the company explained to the Guide & Gazette that the “bridge will be dismantled and shipped off site to a specialist restorer who will use original methods of construction and repair.”

According to Mr Robertson each of the 12 to 14 blacksmiths, stonemasons and other craftsmen involved has “long experience” in traditional bridge building, and hope to remain as faithful to the original structure as possible during the 20 week project.

This will include like for like replacements of all damaged materials, going so far as to use traditional ironmongery instead of the more modern stainless steel.”

A spokesperson for Dundee City Council told the Gazette that due to most of the major work taking place off site it would be the end of June before the public noticed any changes.

The latest bridge inspection by The Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland in April last year reported that the ironwork of the bridge was “extremely corroded” and gave the overall condition as “very poor”.

The Linlathen East Bridge is one of 2360 structures in Scotland that are currently classed as “at risk” or in need of “structural conservation work” and fall under the purview of the Buildings at Risk Register.

The work is being paid for by Miller Homes who have donated £380,000 towards the renovation of the bridge, with another £50,000 granted by Historic Scotland.