Bridge of Avon near Ballindalloch

Written by John Luckwell | 20th of August 2021
Bridges & Viaducts Moray Rivers Walks
Bridge of Avon

This old bridge sometimes called Bridge-end, Old Bridge of Avon and Ballindalloch Bridge, used to be the main historic crossing of the River Avon (pronounced 'awn' in Gaelic) until it was bypassed in 1991 by the new bridge that is in use today.

On my way to Fife on the bike, I stopped by the bridge and was impressed by it. I've passed it many times but always in a hurry!

Who designed the Bridge of Avon?

It was designed by architect George Burn and construction began in 1800. The bridge has two spans, one larger single span which used to arch over the river until the course of the river changed and now flows under the north bank arch too. The bridge is constructed from rubble sitting on stone abutments at either side of the river.

There are two plaques. The upper plaque reads: "Built by General Grant of Ballindalloch 1800. G. Burn Arct.". The remaining plaque on the south side of the bridge shows the level of the river during the 1829 flood known as the Muckle Spate, when the waters rose by 7 metres (22 feet).

Bridge of Avon

The gatehouse

At the north east end of the bridge, a fairy-tale-like gatehouse stands, by the entrance to the castle grounds. The Baronial-style gatehouse is a 3-storeyed building with a conical tower at the SW corner. The gatehouse and arch were designed by architect Thomas Mackenzie.

Gatehouse at Bridge of Avon

Location of Old Bridge of Avon

The bridge is approximately one mile SW of Ballindalloch and half of one mile to the SE of Ballindalloch Castle in the county of Moray, Scotland.

Access to the bridge and gatehouse is easy via a slip-road from the A95, almost opposite the Ballindalloch post office and fuel station and there is space to park several cars next to the gatehouse.

The bridge is worth a walk across, with great views up and down the river.

In 1972 Bridge of Avon was designated a Category A listed building.

Today the bridge is only used by walkers.

Bridge of Avon

What else is near to Bridge of Avon?

Ballindalloch Castle itself is well worth a visit and is a short distance from the bridge, however, you would have to enter via the entrance further north on the A95 and not via the arch next to the gatehouse. The castle has fantastic gardens, a playground and a nice little teashop and gifts store.

Cragganmore Distillery & Visitor Centre lies to the west, one of the smaller distilleries in Speyside, they create one of the most complex single malts.

To the south lies the ruin of Drumin Castle built sometime in the 1300s and once owned by Alexander Stewart - the "Wolf of Badenoch".

There is also an excellent hotel/restaurant south of the bridge called "The Delnashaugh Hotel", great for a stay while exploring the countryside from Ballindalloch to Tomintoul.

Bridge of Avon

Conclusion

The A95 is a fairly winding road, and if a stop is needed, this is a nice place to do so. Ideal for a quick picnic or a stretch of the legs at a pretty heritage site off the busy main road.

Please see my other articles on bridges and viaducts in Scotland, including Spey Viaduct and Culloden Viaduct.

All photography on this article is by John Luckwell.

Bridge of Avon location map

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