I never thought I’d be the type to geek out over a bridge. Or old military transit roads. Good gracious. Who AM I?! Someone, please send help.
While heading southwest one morning on the B862, Mr. C and I came upon this interesting bridge over the River Fechlin in the tiny community of Whitebridge, Scotland.
Intrigued, we parked our car and, with cameras in hand, crossed the road to get a better look.
Also referred to as Wade Bridge, we learned that The White Bridge is an excellent example of a humped-back, single-span bridge dating back to 1732. It was engineered by a gentleman named Major William Caulfeild, who served as Roads Inspector under General George Wade.
Of course, being the geek that I am, I had to look into this further, especially after we found ourselves on another stretch of Wade’s Military Road near Newtonmore.
Here are some things I discovered. After the Jacobite rising of 1715 (in which the 6th Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite clans in an attempt to restore the Crown to the House of Stuart), King George I of England felt it necessary to take precautionary measures against the possibility of further Highland insurrection. To accomplish this, the King sent General George Wade to Scotland to investigate the best way to solve the Highland “problem.”
General George Wade
General Wade suggested that the only real way to maintain order in that part of the country was to construct a series of fortified barracks, linked together with a network of well-maintained roads. The roads would allow troops to move quickly across Scotland’s wild terrain should it become necessary to subdue any unruly behavior by the Highlanders. It was an extremely challenging endeavor for Wade and his men, but the result under Wade’s direction was some 250 miles of road and some 40 bridges.
Eventually, General Wade passed the torch to Major William Caulfeild. And although General Wade’s name is the more famous of the two, Caulfeild is the one who oversaw the building of over eight-hundred additional miles of road and hundreds of more bridges, including The White Bridge you see featured today.
Does anyone else out there get excited about things like this? I suppose on any given day, the majority of people drive past The White Bridge without offering a second glance. At one time, I may have done the same. But in the course of my Scottish adventures, I have come to learn that a building is rarely just a building, a bridge is rarely just a bridge, and sometimes an ordinary road can lead you to extraordinary places.
Enjoy your weekend, friends. See you soon.