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Bonawe Ferry

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Bonawe Ferry
Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Bonawe
To:  Taynuilt
Distance:  0.7 km (0.4 miles)
Loch Etive
Opening Date
On road(s)

The short crossing of Loch Etive at Bonawe provided a useful short cut between the communities on the north shore of the loch around Bonawe and the small village of Taynuilt. The crossing was also served by the irregular steamer services on the loch, but the ferry criss-crossed the narrow strait for centuries, before finally being abandoned when the Connel Bridge was fully opened up to road traffic following the closure of the railway in 1966.

For most of its life, the ferry service was a passenger only affair. However, for two short periods a vehicle service was operated. This was provided by J&A Gardner, who operated the quarry at Bonawe on the north shore, and was primarily intended to facilitate the quicker movement of lorries, shortcutting the longer and awkward crossing at Corran. Other vehicles were carried at times in order to cover the operating costs (so giving quarry lorries free passage), although it was only before World War Two that a reliable shuttle service operated from 07:30 until 22:30. It is thought that quarry lorries were carried through the war and afterwards by a barge type vessel not suited for carrying public cars.

After the war, the service finally resumed in 1956 but always in a more haphazard manner, and was abandoned altogether, even for quarry lorries, in 1966, all traffic having to divert via Connel. This also meant that the B845 was completely and finally severed into two sections either side of Loch Etive. Both ferries which operated the service were supplied as Turntable Ferries, but the Dhuirnish was converted to a bow loader towards the end - this is believed to be in order to accommodate larger, heavier lorries, but also increased car capacity, at the expense of requiring reversing on or off.


Name IMO Operator Dates Notes
Dhuirnish J&A Gardner 1956-66 4/6 cars
Deidre J&A Gardner 1937-40 4 cars

Bonawe Ferry
Other nearby roads
Inland Ferry Crossings
Great BritainAust Ferry • Corran Ferry • Cowes Chain Ferry • Dartmouth Higher Ferry • Dartmouth Lower Ferry • Erskine Ferry • Gravesend to Tibury (P) • Humber Crossing • Instow to Appledore (P) • Itchen Chain Ferry • King Harry Ferry • Nigg • Renfrew to Yoker (P) • Sandbanks • Strome Ferry • Torpoint • Windermere • Woolwich
IrelandPassage East • Passage West • Strangford to Portaferry • Greencastle to Magilligan • Rathmullan to Buncrana • Tarbert to Killimer • Greencastle to Greenore
Other AreasIrish Sea • Inner Hebrides • Western Isles • Shetland • Orkney • North Sea • English Channel • Solent • Inland Crossings • Other Island Crossings

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