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Raasay, Suisnish Pier

Pier (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Raasay, Suisnish Pier

Classification Pier (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Inverarish Mine; Caol Mor; Narrows Of Raasay; Sound Of Raasay; Suishnish Pier

Canmore ID 11484

Site Number NG53SE 3

NGR NG 55417 34069

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Portree
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NG53SE 3 55417 34069

Pier [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1988.

See also NG53NE 8, NG53NE 9, NG53NE 13, NG53NE 14, NG53NE 16 and NG53SE 7.

For the loss of the SV Spindrift (apparently beneath this pier), see NG53SE 8001.

Location formerly entered as NG 554 341.

(Location cited as NG 554 341). Suisnish Pier, built c. 1914 for William Baird and Co Ltd. The bases of four ore-calcining kilns and a large concrete ore bin which discharged into a conveyor which carried ore to the pier.

J R Hume 1977.

Scheduled (with NG53NE 8, NG53NE 9, NG53NE 13, NG53NE 14, NG53NE 16 and NG53SE 7) as 'inverarish, iron ore mine, kilns and associated remains... the remains of an ironstone mine and processing complex established by William Baird and Co of Coatbridge and in operation during the First World War.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 31 March 2011.


Publication Account (2007)

Suishnish Pier, Isle of Raasay

(Institute Civil Engineers Historic Engineering Works no. HEW 1878)

Between 1910 and 1913 Wm. Baird & Co. of Gartsherrie decided to mine a source of iron on the island of Raasay.

The mine required a considerable infrastructure to allow the ore to be removed and shipped, and a narrow-gauge railway, crusher, kilns, hopper, pier and other structures were built, mostly of mass and reinforced concrete. Today all are in ruins except the pier which is still used by the Sconser–Raasay ferry.

The pier is a reinforced-concrete structure projecting seawards 380 ft with a pier head frontage 150 ft wide. Unusual features are the movement joint between the pier head and jetty approach, and the use of gravel-filled

boxes in the structure to provide mass for the absorption of berthing forces.

The engineer for the Raasay mine infrastructure and pier was Robert Simpson of Simpson & Wilson, consulting engineers, Glasgow. The pier,which is of unique construction,was designed by F.A. MacDonald & Partners and constructed by Robert McAlpine & Sons in 1913–14. The mine labour force included German prisoners during the first world war.

Aspects of the installation, such as the pier, diesel-electric power generation and the provision of powerful external electric lighting were state of the art at the time.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.


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