Community-led project at Shakkin Briggie encourages skills training

Community Heritage Grant

Landscaping and interpretation has been installed on land next to the now ruinous 1836, B-Listed, St Devenick’s suspension bridge designed by City Architect John Smith. More commonly known as Dr Morisons’s Bridge or the Shakkin Briggie, it was built to allow parishioners to cross the River Dee to church.

Visitors can now pause, enjoy views over the Dee and find out more about this interesting part of Cults local history.

Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber Community Council initiated the works, which were undertaken by local Civic Engineering and Construction experts W M Donald to designs of T.H.E. Architecture and Planning.

W M Donald used the work to train apprentices in traditional skills, with the company’s labour supplied free of charge in support of the community initiative. Project Manager Sarah Herd said:

Everyone at W M Donald was delighted to have been involved in the successful delivery of this important community project. It was a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices to hone their skills and get hands-on experience in laying traditional granite setts as part of the landscaping and interpretation work which will help future generations enjoy and understand this historical structure.

The project was financially supported by Aberdeen City Heritage Trust which offered a 75% grant from its Community Heritage Grant scheme. Trust Chair, Craig Wilson, said:

The Trust is delighted to see this project coming to fruition. While it is difficult to see a way forward to restore the Shakkin Briggie, this interpretation will raise awareness about why the bridge is there and how significant a piece of engineering it is.

Other contributors included Aberdeen City Council’s Common Good Fund, Scottish Water, Shell with in-kind support provided by CHAP, T.H.E. Architecture and Planning and W M Donald.

New seating and interpretation was officially opened on 13 December 2022, with finishing landscaping works due to complete in the Spring.

Further details of Trust Community Heritage Grants can be found at the Trust website.

Aberdeen City Heritage Trust grants are available thanks to Historic Environment Scotland.