Doune Castle – Ardoch Burn Crossing





Historic Environment Scotland
Funding Partners: VisitScotland; Stirling Council; Kilmadock Development Trust
Architect: Historic Environment Scotland (HES), National Investment Plan Team
Engineers: Fairhurst with Geoff Freedman Rural Bridges
Contractor: Beaver Bridges


Historic Environment Scotland


Administered by VisitScotland, the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) supports sustainable, inspiring and collaborative infrastructure projects that focus on improving the visitor experience and support the enjoyment of Scotland’s rural communities. The dramatic increase in visitor numbers at Doune Castle due to its filming popularity has resulted in a number of significant challenges alongside the opportunities that this increased profile presents. A major barrier to addressing these has been a lack of infrastructure. Up to now, there have been no obvious routes between Doune Castle and Doune Village and therefore, the majority of visitors to Doune Castle are not exposed to the other attractions in Doune. The most significant RTIF project at Doune is a new pedestrian bridge crossing the Ardoch Burn. This new route leading from the Castle to the Mill of Doune, Castle Farm and access along the Ardoch Burn allows these important cultural and natural assets to be enjoyed by both visitors and the local community. The configuration for the bridge is a double arch: 20m across the Ardoch Burn and 10m across the flood plain. This arch arrangement is ideally suited to an innovative structure made from short lengths of timber. This is a ‘glue and screw’ method whereby the timbers are vertically laminated using glue and screws between each row of laminates to create what is effectively a single solid mass of timber. The bridge is then installed in two completed arches without the need for scaffolding in the sensitive watercourse. The primary timber for the bridge is homegrown Scottish Larch, sourced locally from the woods to the north-east of Doune. The use of a laminated solution is particularly suited to using local larch as this approach greatly improves the structural performance of the material that otherwise would not be appropriate for bridge construction. The main span of this bridge at Doune Castle is currently the longest single span of a timber ‘glue and screw’ arch ever built. During the prefabrication works, the riverbank abutments and intermediate pier were completed with the latter clad in stone by the in-house HES apprenticeship team. New paths then completed the connection from the Castle to the riverside and further on to connect with the village. Along with the other RTIF projects, this new infrastructure has delivered important links between Doune Castle and the local community, promoting the many natural assets and attractions that Doune has to offer.



Historic Environment Scotland