Bridge of Faillie
|Bridge of Faillie|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|General Wades Military Road|
The Bridge of Faillie crosses the River Nairn just under a mile west of Daviot Bridge, which effectively replaced it. This old bridge stands on the course of the military road built by General Wade in the 1730s to link Inverness to the south. Whilst this road appears to have remained a through route until well into the twentieth century, a new main road was built by Thomas Telford in the 1810s. This left the route via Faillie as a minor road for local traffic.
The Bridge itself is a single hump-backed stone arch, very much in the style of the other known bridges by Wade. However, partly due to the kink in the road on either bank, and partly due to some unexplained masonry formerly found on the riverbank to the west, historians had previously conjectured that this bridge was a replacement structure, albeit only a decade or two later, and that Wade's bridge had stood around 50m further west. This theory has since been generally disregarded, but it is still not certain that this is indeed Wade's bridge.
Today, whilst still carrying a public road, the bridge only provides access to a handful of houses at Faillie, immediately on the north bank of the river. The route of the old military road has been left for nature to reclaim, and is now just a steep footpath up the hillside. The roadway is single track, but was obviously wider when built, with grass verges inside the parapets right over the arch! The Parapets themselves step in for the arch, with the approaches being wider on both sides.