River Don at Monymusk, Aberdeenshire

Location N 57°15’03.19”

                 W 2°32’01.62”

 

Span 33m (107 feet)     

Width 1.3m (4 feet)

Built 1879  

 

Evidence that this was a Harper bridge: Definite

Monymusk 007.jpg

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections

The Seventh Baronet of Monymusk, Sir Archibald Grant, was one of several local estate owners who asked Harper & Co. to bridge the River Don in Aberdeenshire, in an area known locally as Paradise. The bridge 0f 1879 is seen here looking north from the left bank, upstream towards the hill of Bennachie (NJ679179). The main cables pass through timber masts to reach the corresponding tensioner boxes mounted on the bank side of the masts, while the anchor cables pass through the post at about the same level to reach their tensioners in the river aspect of the mast.

 

The bridge initially had timber masts, probably constructed of larch from the estate, but at some stage these were replaced by I-shaped steel beams to which Harper finials were added. The design of the finials indicates that this is likely to have taken place in the late 1890s.

 

The bridge continued in operation until around 1970, when the Ord Mill finally closed. It then gradually fell into disrepair.  Each Hogmanay, normally sober and upright members of the community could be seen making their annual crossing on the remains of the cables, until the bridge, now derelict, was removed by Sir Archibald Grant in 2005. One of the tension boxes features in the Technical section and presently forms part of the Harper archive at the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums.

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