Bridge of Orchy
|Bridge of Orchy|
|From:||Bridge of Orchy|
|Bridge of Orchy|
|C63 (Argyll), (A8005), (A82)|
The bridge that gives its name to Bridge of Ochy was built by General Cauldfield in 1751. This is one of the most imposing structures that he constructed on all of his Highland Roads, as he favoured taking almost any route to reduce the cost of building bridges - as can be seen further north along the old road, and indeed at the Devils Staircase near Glencoe.
It is therefore perhaps unsurprising that the bridge is a very simple single stone arch, which actually constricts the width of the River Orchy as it flows underneath. As the modern surfaced carriageway is narrower than the width of the bridge, there are 'pavements' on either side which are still flagged with paving similar to that which would have originally been used to surface the bridge. With the tarmac at a lower level than these edges, it seems unlikely that this is the original surface, but it does give a good idea of what the bridge originally looked like.
With the new road across Rannoch Moor that opened in about 1932, the need to cross the River Orchy was removed, as the A82 now crosses the Water of Tulla some distance upstream. The new road also resulted in a new junction for the A82, where it crosses the old road. This is a crossroads, outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, with the old road still public highway in both directions. To the East, it climbs the hill to the station, where it now stops, the old road beyond only open as part of the West Highland Way long distance path. To the west, the old road still runs down to cross the bridge, and continues for roughly 5 miles out to Forest Lodge, the old terminus of the now defunct A8005.