Wellington Suspension Bridge

(Wellington Bridge; Chain Brig)

An A-listed suspension bridge which crosses the River Dee between Ferryhill and Torry, just upstream of the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and a mile (1.3 km) south of Aberdeen city centre. The Wellington Suspension Bridge (known locally as the Chain Brig) was only the second bridge to cross the River Dee at Aberdeen, built 1829-31 at a cost of £10,000 to replace the Craiglug ferry. It was designed by Captain Samuel Brown R.N. (1776 - 1852). The main span is 66.2m (217 feet) and it carries a deck which, at 7.6m (25 feet) in width, would be regarded as narrow by modern standards. The deck is suspended from two pairs of wrought-iron bar-link chains, hung from granite arched towers, which were the work of John Smith (1781 - 1852), the Aberdeen City Architect, assisted by a young James Abernethy (1814-96). The arches were modified in 1886 and the bridge refurbished in 1930. It was closed to vehicular traffic in 1984, relief having been provided by the new Queen Elizabeth Bridge, which opened the previous year. In 2002, it was closed to pedestrians following concerns over its safety, permitting Aberdeen City Council to strengthen and preserve the structure.

The Wellington Bridge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is listed owing to its architectural and historical importance as Scotland's second oldest vehicle suspension bridge that remains intact. The oldest is the Union Suspension Bridge in the Scottish Borders, also designed by Brown.

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