Lady Bute’s Bridge, Bute Park

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This area of Bute Park is where we can see feminine influence on the park’s development! Lady Maria North, first wife of the Second Marquess of Bute, asked for a well to be dug near this bridge, “to preserve a spring of water”. You can see the well clearly from this position in the park.

painting_of_lady_maria_north
Lady Maria

Lady Maria (pictured right) may also be responsible for the bridge, which crosses the dock feeder canal. Documents show that when a medieval mill stream was converted to form this section of the feeder in 1836-1841, someone – quite possibly Lady Maria – insisted on being able to cross the watercourse here. The specification for the feeder’s construction refers to the crossing as “Lady Bute’s Bridge”.

The bridge gave members of the Bute family access to their gardens to the west of the feeder, using a carriageway which led from the Castle’s North Gate to an exit onto Castle Street.

Much of the original bridge was obscured by alterations to the dock feeder in the 20th century. The bridge was partly rebuilt in the 1980s to ensure it would remain intact after military tanks crossed it – not as part of any invasion - but when taking part in the military tattoos (military entertainment/display shows) which were held in the castle in that decade.

As you stand on the bridge, look south towards the city centre. You’ll see that the dock feeder makes a sharp left turn. The old mill stream went straight ahead.

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Thanks to RNIB for the audio presentation of this page

To continue the Bute Park Tour, don’t cross the bridge but carry on walking south down the path, with the castle and the water body on your left. You’ll find the QR code on railings leading onto a bridge towards the castle. Navigation next button