|Location Map ( geo)|
The Aray Bridge is a prominent feature on the main approach to Inverary, its hump-backed profile controlled by traffic lights a memorable feature of this scenic run down Loch Fyne. The bridge dates back to the 1770s, around the time that the current burgh was built in order to clear the parkland around Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll's home. It seems likely that the main road, originally built just a few years earlier by Major Caulfeild, was also moved down to the loch shore at this time, hence the need for a new bridge over the river.
The bridge is a dramatic 2-arch span with large central occulus in the spandrel between the arches. It was designed by Robert Mylne for the Duke, who apparently played a part in the design process. Indeed, looking upstream from the bridge, the castle is highly visible, meaning that the bridge is prominent in the view from the castle. Even today, from a standing start necessitated by the traffic lights, lorries climb slowly over the steep rise of the bridge, which was required by the use of semi-circular arches of a wide span on a road running just a few feet above water level.