I was browsing though Blantyre maps the other day (as I often do!), when i noticed something peculiar at Calderwood Glen. I knew that there used to be footbridges spanning the Rotten Calder River near Calderside, but one of the bridges on the map wasn’t in the location i expected, prompting me to compare to other maps.
This 1898 map shows two footbridges near the fountain pool on the edge of Blantyre Parish. The upper footbridge leads to no other paths and comes out at the top of the crags (which are very steep high above the river). This is what i didn’t expect to see, believing the bridge to be much further upstream, more towards Calderside.
So, I jumped nearly 40 years forward and found a map of 1936 and
zooming into the same location saw that the bridge previously on the 1898 map, was no longer there and instead replaced by another bridge, higher upstream!
I marked up the 1936 to show the abandoned path and abandoned bridge in yellow and showing the new path and footbridge at the end of the red line.
Why was the lower bridge demolished? Did it break? Was it unsafe, rotten or crumbled? Was the path simply redesigned to be more safe, taking people away from a dangerous overhang? I’m unsure of the answer, but one thing is certain. A forgotten or lost bridge used to exist at Calderside, lost sometime in the first half of the 20th Century.