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Tam O'shanter's Brig O' Doon repairs considered

22 March 2011

Historic Scotland has indicated that it would will support repairs to the medieval bridge which is the setting of the final verse of Robert Burns’ Tam o’ Shanter.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs said:

“Brig o’ Doon is familiar to millions of readers of Burns’ work across the globe and this indication of support reflects how much support there is to see it repaired.

“This is the first step in a partnership between the council and Historic Scotland to consolidate this iconic bridge in the heart of Burns’ country.

“As  the First Minister said at the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in January, Alloway and Ayrshire have a huge amount to offer as a visitor attraction, as a welcoming community and as a place where we can feel a physical connection to our national Bard.

“Generations to come will be able to visit and imagine for themselves where Tam’s grey mare Meg lost her tail and maybe even look up the free App of the complete works of Burns that has proved so popular since it was made available this year. “

South Ayrshire Council has provided preliminary estimates that the work to the bridge will cost £46,000. Historic Scotland has now urged the council to formally apply for assistance from its repair grants scheme for up to 50 per cent of the total.

The Brig o’ Doon is A-listed for its national importance and was built in the 15th century and is currently used as a footbridge.


Notes for editors

  • The list description for the bridge describes it: “15th century, repaired 1832. Broad wing-walled approach narrowing to steep single segmental-arched rubble-built bridge. Dressed stone arch ring; spandrels; cobbled crossing surface. 3 iron bollards to N approach, 2 iron bollards to S approach. “

  • In LH Groom’s Ordinance Gazetteer of Scotland Vol. 1 he describes it: “a gaunt structure of great antiquity, famous for the fight between Cassel’s and Bergen (1601), more famous for its part in Tam o’ Shanter.”

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.


For further information


Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768096
lesley.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk