Iconic bridge to receive repair work

THE iconic Brig O’ Doon bridge in Alloway, immortalised in Robert Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter, is to receive a £30,000 grant from Historic Scotland.

It is one of 16 buildings across Scotland which will receive more than £4 million after an announcement by Fiona Hyslop MSP.

The cabinet secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “I am delighted that Historic Scotland’s £4,061,535 grant funding for building repairs will regenerate 16 diverse and fascinating buildings, from the Leighton Library in Dunblane, Scotland’s earliest surviving purpose built library, to the iconic bridge at Brig o Doon in Alloway, immortalised by Robert Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter, to the well-loved Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow.

“It is vital that we preserve our historic environment, not only for future generations to enjoy, but also to attract visitors from around the world who come to explore our history and heritage.”

Mike Newall, South Ayrshire Council’s Head of Planning and Enterprise said: “The award of £30,000 from Historic Scotland is great news for South Ayrshire and we’re looking forward to working with them to refurbish the Brig O’Doon, one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks.

“The bridge dates to the 1400s and was the main crossing point for the Doon when Burns was a child. We’re proposing to remove ivy growing on the joints and stones, exposing sections of the fabled bridge to public view, not seen in a generation.

“We will then be re-pointing and repairing stonework and this will give us, local residents and visitors to the bridge a fascinating insight into the construction methods of the past, while ensuring the long-term survival of the structure.

“Most of us grew up spellbound by Burns’ poem Tam O’Shanter, where he and Meg escape the clutches of the witch Nannie by galloping over the Brig O’Doon, leaving Nannie with nothing more than Meg’s tale.

“We can now add to that legacy by refurbishing the Brig O’Doon, further enhancing its appeal as one of the many superb landmarks in South Ayrshire closely associated with our national Bard, Robert Burns.”