Historical Braco

Old Bridge at Braco

Historical Braco is connected by a line of watchtowers and fortlets across the southern edge of Perthshire. The Romans built a number of forts nearly 2000 years ago, including Ardoch, situated on the Crieff road. This appears to be the first form northern frontier of the Roman Empire and was constructed 40 years before Hadrian's Wall. The Romans withdrew after a short time. In the 140's they returned to Perthshire to rebuild at least some of their earlier fortifications, reoccupied Ardoch and stayed this time for around 20 years. Ardoch was in fact one of the largest Roman stations in Britain but now grass covered rampants and ditches are all that remains. The site is however both remarkable and fascinating.

There are so many Roman sites across Perthshire, including Ardoch Fort and Inchtuthil Fort, which are both part of the Gask Ridge frontier, as well as the Muir o' Fauld and Ardunie watch towers. Blackhill, part of the defences of two Roman marching camps — and probably dating to the early third century — and there are also other forts such as Cardean and Fendoch.

There are two bridges spanning the River Knaick within a few yards of each other, just below Ardoch Roman Fort. The upper bridge, now disused, was erected in 1430 (said to be built by General Wade. This original bridge was a single span only six feet wide, but an addition of three and a half feet seems to have been made to its width at some later time, but in 1896 this part fell into the stream. The building of the newer bridge was begun in 1861 and completed in 1862. The arch of the original is still standing. At its western end may be seen remains of the north parapet, abuttment and arch of the addition. It was probably restored or rebuilt when the military road from Stirling to Crieff was constructed, (1741-2).

Braco Castle is approximately two miles north of the village of Braco. The original castle was a 16th century tower house. The estate was originally owned by the Bishops of Dunblane - there is a royal charter dated 1442 naming Brecache, Ardachis and Kere-Decani - these became Braco, Ardoch and Deanskeir. "Breac Achadh" means "spotted field" in Gaelic. In the 16th century, the castle consisted of a rectangular tower which now forms the north-west corner of the building. In the 1630s, it was extended towards the south, incorporating the stair tower.

Near by is Tullibardine Chapel. This Collegiate Church was founded by Sir David Murray in 1445 and remains unaltered.


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