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Aberchalder, Swing Bridge over Caledonian Canal View from WNW

D 55494

Description Aberchalder, Swing Bridge over Caledonian Canal View from WNW

Date 1/4/1999

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number D 55494

Category Photographs and Off-line Digital Images

Copies SC 799650

Scope and Content Aberchalder Swing Bridge, Caledonian Canal, Highland, from west-north-west This shows the swing bridge which was built in the 1930s by Sir William Arrol & Company with the bridge-keeper's cottage to the left. The pier-shaped structure underneath the bridge on the far bank supports the bridge when it has been opened to allow boats to pass. The ramp for the original swing bridge is beside the cottage and the bridge's control cabin is just visible on the right. This bridge replaced an earlier swing bridge which had probably become too small for the greatly increased car usage from the 1930s onwards. The advantage of this new bridge is that it provides a stronger and wider span across the canal for road traffic. The cabin is a later addition to the original design and the bridge-keeper probably had to operate the controls for the bridge in the open air before this shelter was built. The Caledonian Canal was designed by Thomas Telford (1757-1834) and built between 1803 and 1822 at a cost of £840,000. It was the first example of a transport network funded by the government in Great Britain. The 96.5km-long canal provides a route for boats travelling between the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean as it runs from the Beauly Firth at Clachnaharry, Inverness, to Loch Linnhe at Corpach. Only 35.4km of this length is man-made while the other 61km runs through four lochs: Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy. Unfortunately at 4.2m deep the canal was too small for most sea-going ships which led to it being altered and deepened between 1844 and 1847. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


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