Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Old Bridge of Oich.

Remains of Former Swing Bridge and Restored Bridge of Oich.

Bridge of Oich: Former main road crossing.

Former main road crossing.

Two for the price of one in today’s photograph of the Bridge of Oich. We had cruised back to the Aberchalder Swing Bridge to get the shot.

We have been through this swing bridge twice before, yet (unusually for me) I hadn’t spotted the remains of an old swing bridge across the canal. My attention had been drawn to the old bridge across the adjacent river, and this is what I had come to see.

This Bridge of Oich (not to be confused with the other old one in Fort Augustus) is also a replacement for an earlier one destroyed by floods. This one dates back to 1854. It was designed by James Dredge, a former brewer turned engineer.

It is unusual in that it is not the suspension bridge that it appears to be. In fact, it is a double cantilever bridge. This is the best of 7 surviving examples of some 50 he was responsible for. It is Category A listed.

Traffic stopped using it in 1932, when it was replaced by an adjacent concrete structure carrying the A82. This is the main road through the Great Glen between Inverness and Fort William. At the same time, the original swing bridge over the canal was also replaced.

The Bridge of Oich subsequently fell into disrepair, eventually closing. Listed in 1971, it was eventually restored in 1995-97. It is now open again to pedestrians, although the far side is now private land, and access to the General Public is not permitted.

For further information, see the Engineering Timelines website.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 11 Aug 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
  • Lens: Olympus 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 42mm
  • F/10
  • 1/160 Sec
  • ISO 200

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