Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Bridge Of Nairn

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

BRIDGE OF NAIRN (S8x32) 3C (4C set) Robert Bremner (1757) RSCDS book 13

1- 8 1s cast below 3s and lead up to top, cross and cast to meet partner facing 2L (2s step up 7-8)
9-16 1s set to 2L, 3M, 3L then 2M and turn to face 1st corners
17-24 1s turn 1st corner RH, partner LH, 2nd corner RH and partner LH ending in 2nd place opposite sides. 2(1)3
25-32 2s+1s+3s advance and retire and 1s turn with 2H 1½ times. 213

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Bridge Of Nairn - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

It was King James VI of Scotland who boasted around the year 1603 that Nairn was a town in his kingdom whose only street was so long that people living at one end could not understand the language of the people at the other end. Gaelic to the east and the local Scots dialect to the west.

As an ancient fishing port on the Moray Firth, just a short distance east of Inverness, Nairn also became a Victorian seaside resort in the 1860s. This was due supposedly to its relatively mild climate! Moreover, Nairn's proximity to both the Culloden battlefield and Cawdor Castle of Shakespeare's Macbeth fame, likely helps its standing as a tourist centre. One famous visitor was said to be the Duke of Cumberland (the "Butcher" of Culloden), who commanded the English troops in Scotland in 1746. He stayed at Nairn just prior to the unpleasantness at Culloden and was responsible for the brutal treatment of Jacobite survivors.

But the bridge?

While there are one or two town bridges over the River Nairn, seemingly not of historical consequence, there is a well-known bridge in Nairnshire just south of the town that might well be significant enough to justify becoming the name of a dance. It is the picturesque Dulsie Bridge that carries an old 18th century military road over the River Findhorn. This is most likely the Bridge of Nairn that we know as an RSCDS strathspey, a dance that first surfaced in 1945 (Book 13 - The Victory Book).

The Barry Pipes Canon 018- June, 2008.

(Dance information from set and link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name? The Barry Pipes Canon 2005-2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved)

The picturesque Dulsie Bridge, in Nairnshire
Dulsie Bridge, Nairnshire

Image copyright Mike Searle under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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