The Bridge of Oich – Highland, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

The Bridge of Oich

A double cantilever system bridge that was designed to prevent flood damage.  


The old stone bridge that spanned the River Oich was destroyed by flooding in 1849. To prevent a similar incident, a single-span bridge was commissioned for construction. Engineer James Dredge, along with his patented “taper principle,” was enlisted to design the new bridge. 

In 1854, the bridge was completed and first opened to the public. It acted as the main road bridge across the River Oich until 1932, when a two-lane concrete bridge was constructed. Once the bridge was rendered out of service, it fell into a state of disrepair and was eventually closed. Luckily not long after, the structure was labeled a listed building and was renovated in 1997. 

The bridge is 155 feet long, complete with two main chains c0mposed of wrought-iron eye-rods of varying lengths. One end of each chain is anchored to the bridge at mid-span, the remaining anchors are below ground. The decking is composed of timber and bounces slightly as visitors walk across.

Know Before You Go

The bridge is just off the A82 near Aberchalder. There is a small car park before the modern bridge as you approach from Aberchalder, it's marked with a brown road sign.

The Aberchalder Swing Bridge is nearby and allows modern traffic to cross the Caledonian Canal.

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November 18, 2020

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