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Inverness, Caledonian Canal, Muirtown Basin

Canal Basin (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Inverness, Caledonian Canal, Muirtown Basin

Classification Canal Basin (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 13334

Site Number NH64NE 120

NGR NH 6520 4615

NGR Description NH 6538 4583 to NH 6500 4644

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Inverness And Bona
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH64NE 120.00 6538 4583 to 6500 4644 LIN 19

Extends onto map sheet NH64NW.

NH64NE 120.01 NH 653 460 Hand Crane

NH64NE 120.02 NH 6541 4666 to NH 6544 4597 Branch railway

NH64NE 120.03 NH 6529 4602 South Jetty

NH64NE 120.04 NH 6503 4635 North Jetty

For Clachnaharry Sea-Lock Basin (to NW), see NH64NW 30.03.

For Clachnaharry Railway Swing Bridge (adjacent to NW), see NH64NW 33.

For associated canal offices (NH 64943 46439) and Telford commemorative plaque, see NH64NW 86.

For Muirtown Swing Bridge (NH 65359 45828), see NH64NE 143.

Muirtown Basin [NAT] (at NH 6519 4519)

OS 1:10,000 map, 1992.

This basin, which was constructed principally for the Inverness trade, was nearly completed by 1807. It

had undergone a change of plan in order to measure 800 yards by 140 yards. In area it covers 20 acres.

J Lindsay 1968.

This is a massive basin which required much stamina to dig. In area 20 acres, it measures 800 yards by 140 yards and was originally planned by Telford to be a second harbour for Inverness. However, it never succeeded in achieving its potential, as the size of boats rapidly became too large for it. At the N end of the basin is the Clachnaharry Works lock (NH64NW 30.02). A US naval base was established in the basin during the First World War, from which minesweepers went out to lay the Northern Barrage between Orkney and Norway, the mines and sinkers being brought across the Atlantic and shipped through the canal from Corpach.

G Hutton 1992.

This feature is clearly marked as Muirtown Basin on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1874, sheet iv), on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire 1907, sheet iv), on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1992) and on the OS Basic Scale raster map (ND).

Information from RCAHMS (MD) 3 October 2001.


Field Visit (8 May 2013 - 8 May 2013)

Muirton Canal Basin NH64NE 120.00

GR NH 64909 46533 (NW end) to NH 65374 45821 (SE end) Aligned SE-NW and 800m in length the Muirtown Basin is c130m in width at its centre. Much of this section is within two embankments and elevated above the surrounding topography by some 2 to 4m. Both banks are grassy and several courses of pitching are seen just under the water, there are bollards at regular intervals. The west bank (known as the north bank) has a footpath and several benches whereas the east bank (known as the south bank) has a vehicular track (access to the Workshops at the Works Lock) only. Pontoons are anchored on the southern half of the east bank and their access is surrounded by a high metal security fence; a hand crane (NMRS No – NH64NE 120.01) is also within the fence. A stone quay lines the south part of the east bank from NH 65390 46040 (N end) to NH 65370 45819 (S end) with a bend at NH 65431 45955; this part of the basin is known as the Seaport Marina and has the Canal Offices. The quay is constructed of large dressed red sandstone and has a curved edge; there are a good number of inset rings and hooks.

Information from Scottish Canals Recording Project (MM) 25 November 2013


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