Condition of Priory Bridge

Blantyre Project reader, Davey recently shared these photos showing the current condition of the underside of the Priory Bridge. Situated just off Glasgow Road and a little out of sight, I have to admit, I was quite shocked seeing the photo of the cobbled side which looks to have seriously deteriorated in the last 10 years.
Frequent spate conditions in the River Calder has clearly played a part in that, the oldest part of the whole bridge looking so poor and indeed perhaps even unsafe.
I did revisit the history of this old bridge recently in 2018 whilst writing my Glasgow Road book. You’ve probably seen the article here which comments on the various stages of construction with a good degree of accuracy and reference.
Its easy to forget how relied upon this bridge was even until the mid 20th Century. In the early 20th Century, it was a particular obstacle for trams and part of the reason the tram network in Lanarkshire stopped so abruptly in Blantyre between 1903 until it was joined in 1907.
Seeing these photos and already being closed off, “the bridge to nowhere”, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if the Priory Bridge gets demolished in our lifetimes.
Cobbled side
other side
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Robert Stewart The crack on the ‘cobbled side’ has been caused by the roots of the trees growing on the bridge deck.  I visited the site of the bridge and the remains of the old mill for over 50years, and to state that the bridge is ‘perhaps even unsafe’, is perhaps the understatement of the year, it’s been unsafe for the last 25 years, maybe more.
Cllr Maureen Chalmers SNP Ward 15 Blantyre I’ll ask Roads to take a look at it Paul.
Brian Slevin How exactly do you get to it? I can’t say I’ve ever actually seen it in person.
Blantyre Project turn first left (hard bend doubling back on yourself) after leaving Blantyre towards Halfway. The bridge is then on your left, though obscured somewhat by woodland.
Robert Stewart Brian Slevin if you want a good look at the bridge, park the car at the West End and walk towards Glasgow on the LHS of the road. After about 500 yards, follow the stone wall as it bends away from the footpath. Be careful making your way though the trees. Keep to the LHS and don’t lean on the iron railing.
Paul Wilkinson Fantastic, thanks for posting Paul. I’d no idea about this place.

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