High Bridge (Spean Bridge)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Wade's Military Roads|
Lying to the west of Spean Bridge, and most easily accessed from the Commando Memorial car park off the A82, the old High Bridge was one of the very few bridges built on Military Roads. Construction commenced in 1736, and it was in service in 1745 when one of the first skirmishes associated with the second Jacobite Uprising was an attempted ambush on the bridge itself. When Telford was surveying for his roads in the first decade of the 19th Century, he already considered it needed replacing, and so he constructed his own bridge on a new road alignment at Spean Bridge, about a mile upstream.
By 1894, the central arch which actually crosses the river was deemed to be in danger of collapse, so a metal truss bridge was laid over the top of it to maintain a footpath link. The arch then survived until 1913, before collapsing, and the southern arch followed suit in 1940.
The Bridge Today
The old High Bridge still stands, although it no longer actually spans the River Spean, as today it is badly neglected, being overgrown and two of the arches have fallen down. Thanks to a new path connecting the Commando Memorial with the village of Spean Bridge, and some substantial tree felling, it is now possible to get a good view of this once impressive structure. There are now plans afoot to restore the remains of the bridge, although whether this includes reopening it as a footbridge remains to be seen.
|High Bridge (Spean Bridge)|