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18th century military road and bridge, 310m west of Ballinreigh, Glen Fender

A Scheduled Monument in Strathtay, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.5179 / 56°31'4"N

Longitude: -3.7747 / 3°46'28"W

OS Eastings: 290902

OS Northings: 737620

OS Grid: NN909376

Mapcode National: GBR KC1H.9NC

Mapcode Global: WH5NG.ZFPM

Entry Name: 18th century military road and bridge, 310m west of Ballinreigh, Glen Fender

Scheduled Date: 11 November 2020

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13736

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: bridge

Location: Little Dunkeld/Logierait

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathtay

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a section of engineered military road and a contemporary bridge, likely to date to around 1730. This section of road is approximately 510m long by 4m wide and survives as the partly visible remains of a road surface and its associated construction works along with the structural remains of a stone-built bridge, located between areas of improved pasture. The monument crosses undulating terrain and a tributary of the Glenfender Burn at approximately 300m above sea level. It is part of a longer contemporary routeway, connecting Crieff with Dalnacardoch. 

The scheduled area is polygonal on plan, measuring 510m by 11m. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. Specifically excluded from the scheduling are the above-ground remains of all modern boundary features including fences, dykes and gates as well as the above-ground elements of all utility services.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a. The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, or has the potential to do so, as a section of 18th century military road engineering in the Highlands of Scotland. It is a component of a wider network of roads providing improved access along key natural and established historical routes and between strategic and military locations. As part of a longer branch of constructed road, it has a lasting impact on the local landscape - its function as a communications route has far-outlived its original purpose.         

b. The monument retains structural and buried archaeological features which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular it survives as a single length of representative engineered roadway and single span bridge. The road profile characterises military road construction of the period. The bridge is a simple, single arched, stone built structure without parapet, surviving in its original form.  

d. The monument is a particularly good example of eighteenth century military road building in Highland Perthshire and is an important representative example of the longer routeway continuing to the southwest and northeast.  

e. The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, particularly the study of military planning, road construction and the exploitation of landform and topography to improve lines of physical communication across Scotland. It retains significant historic and social interest for us because of its connection with the wider, prevailing political and military situation in Scotland at the time.

g. The monument has significant associations with historical, traditional, social or artistic figures, events or movements - the transformation of society and culture in the Scottish Highlands in the 18th century, during the period of the Jacobite Risings. The road was built as part of a wider route network for use by Government forces in order to control the Scottish Highlands. This programme of military road building was undertaken by two key British military figures - General George Wade and Major William Caulfeild.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is a 510m length of military road constructed in the early 18th century as part of the road linking Crieff with Dalnacardoch, where it meets the Great North Road. This section is visible as the line of the original roadway built as part of a programme to increase Government control over the Highlands of Scotland. The construction work was undertaken by soldiers of various British Army regiments and contracted groups of local men.

The road was engineered to take troops, their horses and their heavier, wheeled wagons with a planned road width of between 3.05m and 4.88m. The roads generally followed straight lines where possible and contoured around hills. The road was made by excavating down to the natural gravels or rock and then backfilled with stone in various sizes. A final layer of gravel was used to seal the upper surfaces. The excavated material was banked up on the sides, separating the surface from adjacent drainage ditches. Culverts were used to take water courses under the road. These roads often survive as linear features cutting across the landscape - with a distinct profile of banks either side of a hollow way.

Along this stretch of road, the carriageway varies width between approximately 4 and 4.5m. It is contained with a shallow hollow-way towards its north end and along its length, the lateral construction features are sealed by a parallel row of cleared boulders, now forming field boundaries abutting the road on both sides. The single span bridge is approximately 10m long and it carries a carriageway approximately 3.5m wide. Three stone courses are visible above the arch and these form part of the carriageway substructure. A culvert has also been recorded but this was not identified.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

There was an estimated total of 1700km of military road built in Scotland (approximately 400km by General Wade and 1300km by Major Caulfeild) between the early 1720s and the late 1750s.

The first programmes of work started in 1725 Under Wade's command, Repairs were made to various fortifications including Edinburgh Castle and at Fort William and new forts were built at Inverness (Fort George) and Killihuimen (Fort Augustus). Road communications and connections were improved between the garrisons at Fort William, Fort Augustus and Fort George. The roads programme then focused on expanding the network between Dunkeld and Inverness (later known as 'The Great North Road') with branches connecting Crieff to the Great North Road at Dalnacardoch (later known as 'The Second Great North Road') and Fort Augustus to the Great North Road at Dalwhinnie.  The second major programme of works was overseen by Wade's successor, Major William Caulfeild, with branches constructed, from 1741 onwards, between: Crieff and Stirling, an incomplete build between Dumbarton and Inverary, Stirling to Fort William, Coupar Angus to Fort George, and Amulree to Dunkeld.

This representative section of road forms part of the 'The Second Great North Road' (running south southwest – north northeast), connecting the military garrisons and barracks of Stirling with key locations further north, including Ruthven (Kingussie) and Fort George (Inverness). It is notable for its position in the landscape, exploiting the relatively flat terrain north of Glen Quaich and contouring around the low hills of Craig Hulich and Beinn Liath – reflecting the original route planning objective of simplifying construction where possible.

The National Record for the Historic Environment indicates an interesting variety of recorded military heritage dating to the 18th century. The growing road network is just one element of this heritage and complements many other forms, including barracks, forts, bridges and King's houses.   

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

The network of 18th century military roads has close historical associations with people and events of national importance. The military road building programme had very significant political and social impacts on the Highlands of Scotland during the 18th century. The roads and bridges are directly associated with Major General George Wade and Major William Caulfeild, who oversaw the planning and construction of the network.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference numbers CANMORE IDs 84890, 87607, 150148, 150149 (accessed on 13/08/2020).

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust HER Reference MPK 7195, 10003, 10004, 17827, 17828 (accessed on 13/08/2020).

Ang, T., and Pollard, M., 1984, Walking the Scottish Highlands – General Wade's Military Roads, Andre Deutsch Limited: London

Bruce, R., 1931, 'The Great North Road over the Grampians', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers' 232 (2):113-30

Curtis, G.R., 1978-80, 'Roads and Bridges in the Scottish Highlands: the Route between Dunkeld and Inverness 1725-1925', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 110: pp.475-96

Farquharson, L. 2011, General Wade's Legacy: The 18th Century military road system in Perthshire, Perth and Kinross Trust, Farquhar and Son: Perth

Mackenzie, K., 1895-99, 'Military Roads', The Inverness Scientific Society and Field Club, 5: pp364-384

Millar, R., 1967, 'The Road North', Scottish Geographical Magazine, 83 (2), 78-88

Ruddock, T., 1979, Arch Bridges and their Builders 1735-1835, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Salmond, J.B., 1938, Wade in Scotland, The Dunendin Press Limited: Edinburgh

Skelton, R.A, 1967, The Military Survey of Scotland 1747-1755, Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 83(1):pp.5-16

Taylor, W., 1976, The Military Roads in Scotland, SRP Limited: Exeter

Wallace, T., 1911, 'Military Bridges and Fortifications in the Highlands with Bridges and Milestones', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 45: pp 318-33

"Commander in Chief of all his Majesty's Forces, Castles, Forts and Barracks in Northern Britain", =Letter-book of Field Marshall George Wade, 1725-1732. Manuscript held at National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. MS7187


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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