Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Inverness, Caledonian Canal, Clachnaharry Sea Lock Basin

Canal Basin (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Inverness, Caledonian Canal, Clachnaharry Sea Lock Basin

Classification Canal Basin (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Clachnaharry Basin; Clachnaharry Reach

Canmore ID 87203

Site Number NH64NW 30.03

NGR NH 6470 4666

NGR Description NH 6481 4661 to NH 6451 4672

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NH64NW 30.03 6481 4661 to 6451 4672

For Clachnaharry Sea-lock (adjacent to NW), see NH64NW 28.00.

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

For Muirtown (Canal) Basin (to SE), see NH64NE 120.00.

Includes information from cancelled Oracle site NH64NW 35.

Telford was forced to extend the canal on artificial embankments in order to reach deep water, as the Beauly Firth shoreline shelves very gradually. It was a major engineering feat on the canal and Telford's expertise is recorded on the back wall of the former canal offices in the words of the poet Southey. these start:-

'Telford it was by whose presiding mind

The whole great work was planned and perfected.'

A Burton 1983.

The creation of this basin was a major achievement by the canal builders, who built up two enormous parallel embankments reaching out 400 yards into the soft mud at the edge of the Beauly Firth. The purpose of this engineering feat was to take the canal out into deep water. The embankment, resting on a base of quarry waste, was used for digging out the sea lock (NH64NW 28.00). The sea breaking through at one stage, due to the fact that hand pumps were insufficient to cope with the water pressure, hampered operations. However, the use of six horses or the more expensive equivalent power in a steam pump did counteract the problem and control the works until the lock was completed. However, the whole construction requires constant vigilance and timely repairs, such as those carried out on the foreworks in the 1920s.

G Hutton 1992.

Caledonian Canal, sea lock basin.

CFA/MORA Coastal Assessment Survey 1998

This feature is clearly visible 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 (1985) and on the OS Basic Scale raster map (ND).

Information from RCAHMS (MD) 4 October 2001.

This basin has been formed by the construction of flanking embankments, which extend the canal out beyond the shallow waters that fringe the Beauly Firth into the deeper water beyond. It thus differs fundamentally from the adjacent (to SE) Muirtown Basin (NH64NE 120.00), which was dug out.

It is depicted (but not noted) on the 1963 edition of the OS 1:2500 map.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 31 March 2006.


Field Visit (21 November 2012 - 21 November 2012)

This canal basin has grassy landscaped banks on either side, the grass extending down to the waters edge then stone pitching is seen below water level. There is a public footpath on the Kessock bank of the basin and a surfaced road with bollards at regular intervals on the Clachnaharry village bank; two wooden jetties and a floating pontoon are seen on this bank and also a small concrete stairway adjacent to the lock at north end of the basin


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions