This bridge is a representative example of a mid 20th century truss bridge in the UK, and is located at the site of a historic suspension bridge. The tollhouse of the former bridge survives at the east end of the bridge, and is a listed building.
Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings (For Boat of Brig Tollhouse)
Listed At: Category A
Historic Environment Scotland Number: LB2324
William Robertson, 1830. N facing single storey, 5-bay classical tollhouse; harled, ashlar margins and dressings. Pedimented baseless Roman Doric tetrastyle portico; deep string-coursed entablature. Narrow windows flank doorway, slightly wider windows in outer bays; further single window in E gable (facing road); 4- and 12-pane glazing. 3 centre short corniced stacks; shallow piended slate roof. Small later rear lean-to addition. INTERIOR: simple 2-roomed interior.
Statement of Special Interest
There was a medieval bridge at Boat of Brig built by Muriel de Polloc, the tolls supporting the hospital of St Nicholas site nearby. Bridge re-placed by ferry-boat. Suspension bridge designed and executed by Captain Samuel Brown RN, opened 3 December, 1830; together with the tollhouse, it was financed by Col Grant of Grant (Seafield Estates), Mr Richard Wharton Duff of Orton and Mr P Steuart of Auchlunkart. 'Remarkably handsome' tollhouse where 'very moderate pontage' was collected. Tollhouse of unusually grandoise design. Suspension bridge superseded by present bridge in 1952. Upgraded: B to A, 24.3.88.
Information From Moray SMR:
Tollhouse at Boat O'Brig, built in 1830 by William Robertson and of an unusually grandiose design. It is a N-facing single storey, 5-bay classical tollhouse, constructing with harled, ashlar margins and dressing. There is a pedimented baseless Roman Doric tetrastyle portico with a deep string-coursed entablature. Narrow windows flank the doorway, and there are slightly wider windows in the outer bays. A further single window is in the E gable that faces the road. 4- and 12-pane glazing is used. There are 3 centre short corniced stacks and a shallow piended slate roof. There is a small later rear lean-to addition. Inside, there is a simple 2 roomed interior. There was a medieval bridge at Boat of Brig built by Muriel de Polloc, and the tolls supported the hospital of St Nicholas site nearby (NJ35SW0001). The bridge was later re-placed by a ferry-boat. A suspension bridge was designed and executed by Captain Samuel Brown RN, and opened on 3rd December, 1830, together with the tollhouse. It was financed by Col Grant of Grant (Seafield Estates), Mr Richard Wharton Duff of Orton and Mr P Steuart of Auchlunkart. It is a 'Remarkably handsome' tollhouse where 'very moderate pontage' was collected.
Information About Previous Bridge From Moray SMR:
Samuel Brown, engineer 1831-32; Mackenzie &
Matthews, architectural practice 1845. The partnership of Matthews &
Mackenzie had its origin in that of Mackenzie & Matthews. Just before
Thomas Mackenzie's death in October 1854 an Inverness office was
established with William Lawrie in charge as resident assistant. For ten
years both the Aberdeen and the Inverness practices continued under
James Matthews' sole name, Lawrie finally becoming a partner in 1864.
The practice title of Matthews & Lawrie tended to be used in the
Inverness area only, work in and around Aberdeen being usually
undertaken in Matthews' name only. By 1877 Alexander Marshall Mackenzie
(born 1848), son of Thomas Mackenzie and a pupil in Matthews' Aberdeen
office from 1863 to 1868, had amply demonstrated his capacity to gain
clients through his own independent practice, which he had commenced in
Elgin at the early age of twenty-two. Matthews re-admitted him as a
partner, but in respect of Aberdeen and Elgin-based business only,
Matthews's other partner William Lawrie retaining his semi-independent
position in Inverness where the practice continued under the name of
Matthews & Lawrie. From 1883 onward Mackenzie undertook virtually all of
the design work of the Aberdeen office, Matthews being preoccupied with
civic duties as provost, principally on Rosemount Viaduct and the Union
Terrace improvements. The Inverness practice was taken over by John
Hinton Gall in his own name only after Lawrie's death in 1887 and
Matthews eventually retired completely in 1893 at the age of
seventy-three, leaving Mackenzie as sole partner. James Matthews was
born in December 1819, son of Peter Matthews, a teller in the Commercial
Bank in Aberdeen and a Burgess of Guild, and was christened on 12 or 13
December that year. His mother was Margaret Ross, daughter of William
Ross, the architect-builder who had built Union Bridge. Educated at
Robert Gordon's Hospital, he was articled to Archibald Simpson in 1834,
and worked under the supervision of Simpson's assistant Thomas Mackenzie
(born 1814). In 1839 he went to George Gilbert Scott's in London. On his
return early in 1844, Simpson offered him the post of chief assistant
with the promise of partnership in two years. He declined as he thought
Simpson would be 'too greedy' (the Mackenzies, however, found Matthews
'a bit of a Jew'). Matthews then formed his partnership with Thomas
Mackenzie, initially with Mackenzie doing most of the designing in
Elgin, and Matthews attending to the management of the Aberdeen office.
In that year they won the competition for the Free Church College (New
College) in Edinburgh, in a competition assessed by Sir Charles Barry.
The perspective, formerly at Bourtie, is now in the possession of
Professor Alistair Rowan. The competition was set aside, however, and
the commission given to William Henry Playfair. Initially the Elgin
practice was much more prosperous than the Aberdeen one and in 1848
Matthews applied unsuccessfully for the post of head of the Edinburgh
office of the Office of Works. Mackenzie died of brain fever -
apparently brought on by an accident - on 15 October 1854, Matthews
continuing the practice thereafter under his name alone, though he did
form a brief partnership with George Petrie of Elgin in c.1857. Petrie
presumably filled the role of Mackenzie manning the Elgin end of the
practice. Just before Mackenzie's death an Inverness office had been
established with William Lawrie in charge as resident assistant.
Although not made a partner until 1864, Lawrie was given what seems to
have been a free hand in the design work and for some years the
Inverness office was the more prosperous. Matthews continued the
Aberdeen office alone, and it was not until 1877 that Mackenzie's son,
Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, was taken into partnership, having
established a successful practice of his own in his native Elgin.
Thereafter Matthews ran the practice as two separate partnerships -
Matthews & Mackenzie in Aberdeen and Elgin, and Matthews & Lawrie in
Inverness. When Lawrie died in 1887, the Inverness practice was
inherited by John Hinton Gall (born 1848), who had been his chief
assistant since 1872 and who continued the business under his own name,
Matthews withdrawing completely from that branch of the firm. Matthews
entered the Town Council in 1863, and retired as a councillor in 1871.
In November 1883 he was recalled as Lord Provost and held office until
November 1886. He was mainly responsible for implementing the City
Improvement Act of 1883 which included building Schoolhill and Rosemount
Viaduct and giving improved access to the latter area of the city. He
was a director of the North of Scotland Bank, of which he was Chairman
from time to time. His public services (in particular the Mitchell Tower
and Graduation Hall) brought an Honorary LLD from the University of
Aberdeen. In his later years Matthews lived in some grandeur at
Springhill, which he had greatly altered for himself. Matthews retired
from the practice in 1893 at the age of seventy-three, and died at 15
Albyn Terrace on 28 June 1898. He was buried in St Nicholas churchyard,
where his monument records the earlier deaths of his daughter Margaret
Rose Matthews on 18 May 1868, his son James Duncan Matthews on 21
November 1890 and his wife Elizabeth Duncan on 21 March 1895.
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