Bridge of Earn

Bridge of Earn is a small town (till recently a village) in Perthshire, Scotland. Often referred to simply as 'The Brig' (Scots for 'bridge') by its inhabitants. As the name suggests, the village grew up on the south bank of an important crossing of the River Earn, whose sandstone bridge existed from at least the early 14th century, when it is recorded to have been repaired by order of King Robert I of Scotland (1306-1329) (site: NO 133 185). Substantial remains of the medieval bridge (rendered redundant by a replacement, still in use, slightly upstream in 1821-22) survived into the 1970s, when almost all the stonework was demolished, for (allegedly) being in a dangerously ruinous condition. This ancient bridge was a major landmark on the road between Edinburgh and Perth for several centuries. The village's oldest houses are to be found lining the road (Back Street/Old Edinburgh Road) leading south from the site of the demolished bridge. Among them are some with 18th century datestones.

The Old Bridge of Earn (and part of the village) are featured in the 1857 painting "Sir Isumbras at the Ford" by John Everett Millais (1829-1896), who often stayed at nearby Perth.

History

Bridge of Earn is the main village in the parish of Dunbarney (sometimes Dumbarney in older documents). The place-name is of uncertain (though probably Gaelic) origin, and may contain the element "druim", 'ridge, spine'. The ancient ecclesiastical focus of the parish was not within the present village, but about 1.5km to the west at NO 113 190. The site of the medieval parish church is marked by a walled burial ground a little south of the River Earn. There are no visible remains of the medieval building (or of the medieval village that is said to have adjoined it to the south), but the churchyard contains an interesting collection of 18th century headstones carved with symbols of mortality, trades etc. In 1689 the church was rebuilt much nearer to the Bridge, the main focus of settlement in the parish, at NO 130 185. In 1787 the church was rebuilt yet again, using the same stones, on its present site just to the east of the second, which also became a graveyard. The present congregation is a large and flourishing one, and a modern hall and kitchen has been built adjoining the church in recent years.

Expansion

Bridge of Earn, and the formerly neighbouring but now conjoined village of Kintillo, have expanded out of all recognition since the 1960s, with hundreds of new homes being built. Many more - in fact an entire new settlement called Oudenarde - is currently being built on the site of the large former hospital (NO 142 181) to the east of the old village. Bridge of Earn's proximity to Perth, and convenient transport links to Edinburgh and Dundee, make it a desirable 'dormitory' town, though its railway station was closed following the Beeching reforms of the 1960s.

port

The local football teams including Bridge of Earn, Abernethy and Dunbarney teams play their games here at Victory Park, just off Main Street, visit the football teams website http://www.bridgeofearnyfc.co.uk

Facilities

Apart from the church [http://www.dfpchurch.org.uk/] and school, facilities in the village include a park, bowling club, tennis courts, a post office, more than one public house and several shops. The formerly popular and well-known spa of Pitkeathly Wells once existed, but is now closed.

Education

The village school, recently greatly enlarged and modernised, is Dunbarney Primary School. Within Dunbarney parish, is the public school Kilgraston School.

Estates

Local estates (none of whose houses are open to the public) include Moncrieffe House, Glenearn House (with early 17th century Ecclesiamagirdle House in its grounds), and Dunbarney House.

External links

* [http://www.brigbowls.co.uk Official Bridge of Earn Bowling Club Website]

ee also

*List of places in Perth and Kinross


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