MHG16781 - Bridge on Shiel Bridge to Glenelg Road (Over Allt Ratagan)


An unusual early 19th-century high-arched road bridge, a component of the Thomas Telford Parliamentary road from Glen Shiel to Kylerhea. It has been bypassed by the modern road and now stands unused.

Type and Period (2)

  • ROAD BRIDGE (Built, 19th Century - 1803 AD to 1819 AD)
  • ARCH BRIDGE (19th Century - 1803 AD to 1819 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

This single span stone bridge of unknown date, 3.6m wide, has a very high arch. This arch is beginning to crumble, the parapets are disintegrating and vegetation can be seen growing out of the stonework. It has now been superseded by the modern road and bridge and carries what remains of an old metalled road. This road extends for a short distance on either side of the bridge.
Visited by OS (NKB) 4 October 1966.
M Logie (Highland Council) 1997; NMRS MS 1007/6.

Circa 1815. Rubble, single narrow arched bridge and causeway; overall height approximately 40', bridge 35' high by 10'
wide. Low parapet with sharp bend at SE end and widely splayed at NW.
Carries section of Parliamentary Road from Glenshiel to Bernera Barracks, Glenelg and old crossing to Skye at Kylerhea. <1>

The bridge was included in a survey in 2009 by Forestry Commission Scotland of C18 military roads under their ownership within their Highlands estate and within the districts of Inverness, Ross and Skye, Lochaber and the North Highland Forest in order to enable it to develop sustainable management strategies. <2>

The bridge was surveyed by Forestry Commission Scotland in May 2011. The survey report notes that "the well-preserved bridge is of significance as an unusual and evocative remnant of Thomas Telford’s Highland road network, an engineering achievement of national importance." The bridge measures about 40 metres in length and between 8 metres and 5 metres in width over a parapet measuring between 0.5m and 0.6m in width. At its highest point the bridge stands at 13 metres. At some point a crude repair has been carried out to the arch which is supported with five iron brace fixtures. The survey report concludes that the bridge is in a generally stable condition and is structurally sound, but recommends that consideration be given to a sympathetic repair of the parapet using local stone and to repointing of masonry where necessary. The survey report contains a full architectural description and drawings of this bridge and helpful background information about the building of the parliamentary roads. <3>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 9164 1941 (54m by 45m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG91NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish GLENSHIEL

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (3)

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