MHG58252 - Site of toll house - Bonar Bridge.


The approximate site of a toll house - Bonar Bridge.

Type and Period (1)

  • TOLL HOUSE (19th Century to Unknown - 1814 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The approximate site of a Tollhouse - Bonar Bridge.

In 2014 ARCH provided a number of courses, field trips and other activities exploring and researching the remains of the 19th century engineer, road and church builder Thomas Telford. A project was undertaken in Kyle of Sutherland, during which many sites were visited and photographed by participants. After Telford constructed roads and bridges in the Kyle of Sutherland area, the county of Sutherland erected a toll house. Gates were erected at Bonar by May 1814. By 1815 the toll bar had been let for £30 and in 1817 for £34. In 1816 the toll keeper was supplied with a substantial stone house in place of his temporary wooden one at a cost of £94. The County of Sutherland minutes for the Roads Committee recorded on 10 September 1818 that the county employed a carpenter 'to remove the gate on the Bridge at Bonar, and to put it on the Road leading from thence to Portinleik [Invershin], which has been placed as near as it could be to the gable of the Toll house. But as there is a great opening twixt [?] the road where that gate is now placed and the shore, Travellers with horses have it in their power to pass twixt [?] the Toll bar and the sea and then evade the Toll …'. By October 1818 the County officials considered giving up the tolls and let the toll house (minutes 6 October 1818), but in May 1819 there was an intent to put them to tender (minutes 24 May 1819). Robert Southey, poet and friend of Telford recorded in 'A Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819': 'The tolls did not suffice to pay the man who kept it, and he sued the County for wages: a refractory person denied their right of imposing a toll, and offered to contest it; owing to these untoward occurrences the toll house is now without a keeper, and passengers pass free.' (p. 130) According to Southey, local landowner George Dempster affixed his plaque (see MHG14243) commemorating the building of Bonar Bridge to the toll house. It is not known how long the building survived, but the plaque is now not affixed to a building. <1> <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 6099 9154 (10m by 10m)
Map sheet NH69SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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