Historic Buildings - Jim McDowall

Tournament Bridge Eglinton Park Irvine

The surviving 'Tournament Bridge' was built to provide an appropriate crossing point to gain access to the far side of the Lugton Water and the Eglinton Kennels, circa 1845. Archibald Montgomerie, the 13th Earl of Eglinton had the bridge built in a Gothic style, using cast iron for the arches, pinnacles, etc. and stone for the two pairs of miniature ornamental towers at either end. These towers have subtle design differences (See photographs) which are significant in the context of the extended history of the bridge. This 'Tournament' bridge is said to have been designed by the architect David Hamilton; agreement to build the original three arched bridge was reached on 16 October 1799 by the 12th Earl of Eglinton and Hamilton's first recorded work dates from 1807. An Adam Russell is recorded as being partner to the agreement.[2] The first bridge is described by Aiton in 1811 as A bridge of three arches, the piers of stone, and the arches of cast-iron, of the most elegant device, imitating the gothic style of the castle, with the family arms in the centre, now building about 100 yards below the castle, where the river is 102 feet broad

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