Ancient Monuments

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18th century military road and bridges, 1750m northwest of Scotston, Glen Cochill.

A Scheduled Monument in Highland, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.5714 / 56°34'17"N

Longitude: -3.8061 / 3°48'21"W

OS Eastings: 289128

OS Northings: 743620

OS Grid: NN891436

Mapcode National: GBR JCZB.TH2

Mapcode Global: WH5N8.H3T4

Entry Name: 18th century military road and bridges, 1750m northwest of Scotston, Glen Cochill.

Scheduled Date: 11 November 2020

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13735

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: bridge, viaduct, aqueduct

Location: Logierait/Logierait

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Highland

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a section of engineered military road and the remains of three bridges, likely to date to around 1730. The monument is located on low lying ground at the North end of Glen Cochill, where it straddles the Cochill Burn and adjacent unnamed water courses, at approximately 340m above sea level. This section is part of a longer branch of contemporary road construction, connecting Crieff with Dalnacardoch.  

This section of road is approximately 85m long by 4m wide and survives as four short sections of buried roadway connected by three small, ruined bridges in a mature woodland plantation.

The scheduled area is rectangular on plan, measuring 85m by 17m. 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 moorland and woodland boundaries including fences and dykes.

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.         

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 complex of three, co-located bridges and connecting road sections, demonstrating a specific engineering solution in response to the local terrain and ground conditions. Researchers think that the road may have been built upon a causeway over this low-lying ground, adding to this section's interest.  

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 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 monument has a significant association with the transformation of the society and culture of the Scottish Highlands in the 18th century during the period of the Jacobite Risings. The road was built as part of a wider networks of routes for use by Government forces 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 an 85m length of military road constructed in the early 18th century as part of road which linked Crieff to Dalnacardoch. This section is visible as a line of roadway connecting across three adjacent bridges. The southern-most bridge is a simple, single span structure with no parapet. The middle bridge is of a similar size and construction. The third, northern-most bridge has largely collapsed, with very little of its structure visible. This road and the bridges supporting it were built as part of a programme of building intended 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 (confirmed in this locale and wider in sections where the carriageway is built upon a causeway or contained by a cutting). The roads generally followed straight lines where possible and contoured around hills. In this area of Glen Cochill, the route of the road crosses three water courses. 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. The position of these bridges underline the physical constraints in routing the road through Glen Cochill – tackling a low-lying wet area with multiple water courses.

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 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). This is a representative section of the longer engineered routeway between Strathearn to the South and Strathtay to the North – located in relatively flat terrain, south of the downhill sections leading to Aberfeldy.

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 number CANMORE IDs 86268, 150158, 150159, 150160 (accessed on 31/07/2020).

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust HER References MPK 6013, 17488, 10012, 10013, 10014 (accessed on 31/07/2020).

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), 13-30

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, 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: 364-384

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): 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: 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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