As a child, the task of walking to the 18th century Bridge of Alvah, near Banff in Aberdeenshire, was presented as something akin to travelling to Mordor: a journey of such length and difficulty as to render it impossible to your average mortal.
The walk from Duff House (a place with easy parking, swings, art gallery, tearoom and gift shop) to Alvah is actually comprised of just over two miles of well maintained track.
The other fact about Alvah recalled from childhood is that it is a place of great natural beauty. That is true.
The bridge stands huge and majestic – it is a bit ‘Lord of the Rings’ after all – over a deep gorge and the River Deveron.
I was most intrigued by the Gothic window (visible in first and last pics) and the many little hooks, just about discernible below.
Googling revealed that there was a room for a toll collector within the bridge. This explains the window, though how a person got in there is not so clear. Either the door has been sealed or there was something Rapunzel-like going on. Local legend has it that the room was used by the (married) Earl to entertain young ladies so perhaps it was kept semi-secret. The hooks remain a mystery.
In summary: go visit the Bridge of Alvah; it’s well worth the two mile trek. Not an Orc in sight!
See the post about the Mausoleum for more on the grounds of Duff House.
Update: we revisited the bridge in Autumn and were given access the Earl’s secret room/love nest.
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Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!
See the press release here
“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.
See the press release here
From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!
See the publisher’s Press Release here