LETTER: Weir was built soon after bridge

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I see that some notes made by me have been quoted in connection with discussion of the purpose and date of the weir downstream of Cree Bridge (“Bridge theory under dispute”, The Galloway Gazette, February 15).

The notes which Bill Marshall gave to you were compiled by me for a visit by a party from the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1999 and were based on investigations made about 1970.

The information on the building of the bridge was based on information contained in the Minutes of the Commissioners of Supply for the Stewartry – a forerunner of the county council. These minutes are now held in the Ewart Library, Dumfries.

My personal written notes of these minutes do not go beyond 1812 but I am fairly certain that I saw a further reference to the construction of the weir shortly after the bridge was completed. Physical evidence for settlement of the foundations and its correction was found in the bridge itself.

Personally, as a retired chartered civil engineer, I think that protection from scour is the most likely reason why a weir would be built in such a position.

The photograph which you published showing the river in spate at some time after the invention of photography is presumably meant to show that the weir was not there at that time. However, I think it is there, showing as a straight line dividing the comparatively smooth water under the bridge from the more turbulent water downstream.

Unfortunately, conclusive proof of its construction shortly after the bridge would require a careful search of the Minutes in the Ewart Library or, as the building of the bridge was a joint operation, in the Minutes of the Wigtownshire Commissioners, although I do not know where the latter are kept.

Alex D Anderson,

2 Mount Pleasant Avenue,