Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Seil, Clachan Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Seil, Clachan Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) 'Bridge Over The Atlantic'; Clachan Sound; Seil Sound

Canmore ID 22603

Site Number NM71NE 22

NGR NM 78532 19693

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilninver And Kilmelford
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM71NE 22 78532 19693

Clachan Bridge [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1978.

(Location cited as NM 785 197). Clachan Bridge, built 1792. A large segmental rubble bridge, with oculi in spandrels. Known as the 'bridge over the Atlantic'.

J R Hume 1977.

This bridge carries the B844 public road over Clachan Sound (a northern continuation of Seil Sound), and thus gives access from the mainland to the island of Seil (to the W). Clachan Sound here forms the boundary between the parishes of Kilbrandon and Kilchattan (to the W) and Kilninver and Kilmelfort (to the E).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 17 May 2006.


Construction (1791 - 1792)

Built in 1791–92 of roughly coursed rubble with long thin slabs forming the


R Paxton and J Shipway 2007b

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

Publication Account (2007)

Clachan Bridge is known as ‘the bridge over the Atlantic’ because it crosses a tiny arm of that ocean, namely the Clachan Sound, to join the Island of Seil to the mainland about 7 miles south-west of Oban.

The bridge is markedly humpbacked with an overall length of 300 ft and a single span masonry arch of 72 ft rising 27 ft above high water level and has a width between parapets of 15 ft. It was built in 1791–92 of roughly coursed rubble with long thin slabs forming the arch-rings. The central portion of the parapet is defined by small pyramidal blocks set above circular recesses 6 ft in diameter in the spandrels.

Before the bridge was built there was a suggestion in 1790 that the Sound be filled in, but this was rejected because of the passage required by fishing boats. The bridge, commissioned by the Earl of Breadalbane and others, was to the design of John Stevenson of Oban, revised by Robert Mylne. Stevenson was also the contractor. Attribution of the bridge to Telford by some writers and on some postcards is incorrect.

R Paxton and Jim Shipway 2007b

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


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions