Heritage Locations

Glenlivet Packhorse Bridge

One of only three remaining examples in Scotland.


Period of construction:
1000 - 1599

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:


Bridge End, Glenlivet, Banffshire AB37 9DB

AB37 9DB

Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

This picturesque structure spans the Livet at Bridgend on the Glenlivet Estate, which is part of the Cairngorms National Park and an area famed for its distillery. The bridge is sited where the river tumbles through a narrow rocky gorge.

The exact age of the bridge is unknown but it is thought to have been built in connection with the nearby Blairfindy castle. Two arches of the bridge now survive, the third having been ripped away by flood waters during the great "Muckle Spate" of 1829. There is an attractive picnic site and car park next to the bridge.

Blairfindy Castle (Glenlivet) was built by the Earl of Huntly in 1586. It is an impressive stronghold which is thought to have been built as a hunting lodge, but possibly with the purpose of controlling the main access to Gordon country from across the Ladder Hills. Unfortunately it is now in a dangerous condition and no access within the surrounding fence is possible.

In 1594 a force of about two thousand local men in support of the Catholic Earls of Errol and Huntly routed ten thousand highlanders under the Protestant Earl of Argyll at the Battle of Glenlivet. A dramatic event with deep and complex roots, the battle represented a victory of artillery and horse over irregular infantry and has passed into local legend.

Other packhorse bridges in Scotland are at Carrbridge and at Stow.


Addison, Sir William, The Old Roads of England, Harper Collins, ISBN 0 7134 1714 5 (1980)

Albert, W., The Turnpike Road System in England 1663- 1840, Cambridge University Press, ISBN O 5210 3391 8 (1972)

Challis, Chris, Packhorse Bridge, Aylestone, T. Savage, ASIN: B0007B7S02 7S02 (1986)

Harrison, David, The Bridges of Medieval England: Transport and Society 400-1800, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0199226857 (2007)

Hartwell, Michael, Illustrated Guide to the Packhorse Bridges of the Lake District, Ernest Press, ISBN-10: 0948153318 (1994)

Hinchcliffe, Ernest, Guide to the Packhorse Bridges of England, Cicerone Press, ISBN-10: 1852841435 (1994)

Lewis, Carenza, Village, Hamlet and Field: Changing Medieval Settlements in Central England, Windgather Press, ISBN-10: 0953863034 (2001)

Williamson, Tom, Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment, Windgather Press, ISBN-10: 0954557581 (2004)

Opening Times:
Permanently viewable.

How To Find:
By road: Off A95, via B9008. The site of the Battle of Glenlivet can be reached from the Forestry Commission car park at Morinsh on the B9009.


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