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Auchindrean Bridge

Auchindrean Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): M J Richardson

Bridge Documented: May 14, 2018

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Private Driveway Over River Broom
Garve: Highland, Scotland: United Kingdom
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: John Fowler
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
102.5 Feet (31.2 Meters)
Structure Length
102.5 Feet (31.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
9 Feet (2.74 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Why would a simple driveway leading to a farm, and crossing a small river, feature such an elaborate design as a lenticular truss bridge? The answer is simple: Sir John Fowler lived here when the bridge was built. Certainly, one of the most famous bridge engineers in the United Kingdom (he was one of the engineers for the Forth Rail Bridge), would not be satisfied with a more simple and traditional bridge design! It is not known exactly when he had the bridge built however, but he bought the property in 1867, and the bridge is known to have existed by 1881, so a ca. 1870 construction date seems reasonable.

As such, this is the only known lenticular truss bridge in Scotland. The bridge retains integrity of design and materials.

Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings

Listed At: Category A


Historic Environment Scotland Number:

Canmore ID: 81863

Site Number: LB7754


Sir John Fowler, circa 1870. Fine lenticular-truss wrought-iron bridge; wooden deck suspended from truss by lattice girders. Coursed rubble abutments extended upwards to form semi-circular approach piers with corbelled semi-circular caps.

Statement of Special Interest

Sir John Fowler bought Inverbroom Estate in 1867. For further notes see Corrieshalloc Gorge suspension bridge, Gairloch parish. Auchindrean bridge "unique in Scotland" (John Hume).

Information From Canmore:

This elegant, simply supported, iron truss bridge of bowstring form, the only one of its kind in Scotland, was designed by or under the direction of Sir John Fowler and may have been influenced conceptually by I. K. Brunel’s Saltash Bridge. Fowler planned a bridge of similar design for the Metropolitan Railway at Farringdon Road, London, which was never built. Auchindrean Bridge has a span of 102 1/2 ft and a width of 9 ft. Its timber deck is suitable only for lightweight vehicular traffic. It spans the Broom on an estate road leading to Auchindrean Farm and existed before 1881. The masonry and steelwork contractors are unknown to the authors.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.


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