Most bridges in Lanarkshire, including Stonehouse, were built before the introduction of steam propelled and motorised transport. These bridges were made to the requirements of the day which was for cattle or horse and cart transport, and in many cases upgraded to cope with the changing face of transportation and increased demands on roads. Many of these old bridges were of square span, masonry arch construction, for horse traffic, but generally capable of coping with the heavy goods traffic of today. However, some bridges such as the Woodlands bridge (Thomas Telford 1821) and the Linthaugh bridge (c1772) are less able to facilitate the pressures and practicalities of of modern day traffic. Both bridges have suffered through weathering and deterioration of the sandstone, which have affected their ability to cope with heavy traffic. The railway viaduct crossing the Avon was constructed by the Arrol Bros. in 1904 (demolished 1984).
Linthaugh bridge,spanning the river Avon has two arches with a centre cutwater. Thought to be built around late 18th-early 19th century is located on the Larkhall Millheugh Road, South Lanarkshire ML9 3PQ. Throughout its long history it has served the village of Stonehouse well and been a popular alternative route for accessing Hamilton, Quarter and outlying villages. Not the first bridge over the Avon in this location as its been reported that in 1771, two bridges including Linthaugh Bridge were swept away by floods. The Linthaugh Bridge was rebuilt some time after this and its not known if this is the current bridge that was built after the floods. In recent years its been in constant need of repair, the bridge was, for a decade, merely an access for farmers and fishermen, when a landslide on the Millheugh Road resulted in its closure. However, Millheugh Road was reopened in 1998 after a long fought campaign by residents, the community council and local councillors. Closed again in 2011 -2012 following the discovery of some cracks additional work was carried out.
2012 Bridge Repair
Stone masons F. Kelly. And J. Cameron got a surprise this week when working to repair the historic Linthaugh Bridge. They uncovered an old glass bottle with a message inside, undoubtably left by workmen during the previous repair. The stonemasons passed the bottle to local resident Danny Baxter who in turn passed it onto Jim Monie of the Stonehouse Heritage Group.
The bottle was made by Henry Kerr of Glasgow and had an A.G. Barr stone screw top. It contained a weather damaged note with the following message:
The following are names of the people that were involved during the upgrading of the bridge in 1926:
The Bridge was repaired October 1926 by J.C. Burns Builders Larkhall
Wm. Thomson Esc. Chairman Highways Committee
Wm. Chapman Esc. County Roads Surveyor
Wm. Alexander. Road Engineer
Wm. Gallagher. Road Foreman
- Burns Esc. Contractor
Wm. Lindsay Watchman
The Heritage Group, along with the guildrey, have replaced the bottle back into the bridge with items including a copy of their last News Letter Issue 19 and a copy of the names on the list of the people concerned with the repairs carried out in 1926.
Jim Monie of the Heritage Group will conduct a search to see if there are any relatives on the list still in Stonehouse or even from the surrounding villages so anyone that can provide information should get in touch.
The bridge is a Category: B Historic Scotland listed bridge being listed on 12th January 1971,
Historic Scotland Building ID: 18507. The map coordinates are
OS Grid Coordinates: 275102, 647377
Latitude/Longitude: 55.7037, -3.9891
Evidence of former bridges spanning the Avon can still be evidenced, such as Millers bridge, South of the ‘Meetings’, on both banks, and another midway between the Linthaugh bridge and the Holm farm on the South side.
Old A71 Cander Bridge over Cander Water
This bridge built between 1821 and 1823 is a, Thomas Telford, engineered 3-span cream sandstone masonry bridge. Polished ashlar construction throughout, with channelled soffits and rusticated voussoirs. Semi-circular arches on tapering piers. Solid masonry parapets with copes above string course. Dies at bridge ends have shallow arched recesses on external faces. Curved wing walls, with heads curving down from parapets. Putlog holes for arch centring near heads of piers and abutments.
The bridge which was bypassed in 1965 with the opening of the New A71 road Bridge is a smaller, unaltered version of Cartland Bridge, and is the only surviving Telford Bridge of its type on the A71 Edinburgh-Ayr Road.
The bridge is a Historic Scotland Category: A bridge being listed on 21 May 1992.
Historic Scotland Building ID: 19088
OS Grid Coordinates: 276547, 647435
Latitude/Longitude: 55.7046, -3.9661
New A71 Cander Bridge over Cander Water
Opened on the 29th April 1966, the Cander Bridge carries the A71 across the Cander Water.
The institure of Municipal engineers visited the site on 10th June 1965 and the following document outlines the area , visit and an artists impression of the bridge.
INFORMATION AND ARTIST IMPRESION
Stonehouse Viaduct was of similar construction to the Larkhall viaduct being built between 1903and 1904. This was an eight span steel truss bridge built level on a curve 158 feet above the river, 457 yards long and contained 2273 tons of steel. Both viaducts were built by Arrol and Company of Glasgow, incorporating expansion joints on the tops of the piers to allow for the creep of the steel during hot weather. Whilst the viaducts were built wide enough for double tracks, only single track was ever laid on them. Most of the construction workers were Irish labourers.These new single track lines were operated by the electric token block system between the crossing places.