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Kinloch Bridge

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Kinloch Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Craignure
To:  Pennyghael
Highway Authority
Argyll and Bute
Opening Date
On road(s)
Crossings related to the A849

The old bridge over the River Coladoir on Mull

Kinloch Bridge stands at the head of Loch Beg, itself an inlet of Loch Scridain. It is an important crossing over the River Coladoir, as it stands on the only route to and from the Ross of Mull and Iona beyond. There are in fact two bridges here, the old one lying unused, and sadly a little unloved, a short distance downstream of the current bridge. The A849 has always crossed the road, but the nearby junction with the B8035 has seen many changes over the years.

The Old Bridge

The old Kinloch Bridge is a twin stone arch bridge with the central pier in the river bed. The official record is vague about date, saying late 18th Century, but the bridge has a number of features common with the bridges designed by Thomas Telford as part of his commission on Highland Roads and Bridges. The bridge has a slight peak over the central pier, the abutments are battered and the parapets curve down at the ends. However, while Telford was certainly involved in planning roads on Mull, local politics meant that none were ever built by the commissioners. Whether any bridges were built is less clear.

The new bridge

The New Bridge

The new bridge is a 3 span concrete crossing carrying a single track road with wide pavements to either side. The two concrete piers sit in the river bed, with the concrete deck slightly arched on the underside for each of the three spans. The abutments continue up as concrete parapets, but metal railings span over the river. Based on mapping evidence, the bridge is newer than it appears, as the OS Quarter Inch sheets from the early 1970s still show the road crossing the old bridge.


A short distance to the north of the bridge lies the junction between the A849 and the B8035. This has always been a simple T-junction, but it has changed a couple of times. When the roads were first classified in 1922, the A849 followed the coast from Salen, approaching the old Kinloch Bridge from the north west along what is now the B8035. In the late 1920s the B8035 was created, following the river through Glen More to take the southerly route to Salen. The junction at that time lay between the old bridge and the parking area off the B8035, with the original line of the A849 still visible as a grassy stripe across the moor.

At some point in the mid 1960s (certainly between 1962 and 1968), the routes of the two roads were swapped. This is almost certainly related to the development of Craignure as the new ferry port for Mull in 1965. However, at that time no upgrade work had been carried out, so the junction remained in the same place as far as can be ascertained. As the original junction is more a fork than a square T-junction, it may well be that the priorities were swapped however. The road through Glen More was subsequently almost completely rebuilt on a new line, albeit still left as a single track road. Again, maps from the early 1970s show the old junction and bridge still in use, but soon after the new road was built along with the new bridge, creating the current layout.


Route To Notes


Craignure, Salen


Bunessan, Fionnphort, Iona Ferry


Gruline Scenic route to Salen

Kinloch Bridge
Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
Bridge over the Coladoir River - Geograph - 2944975.jpgOld bridge over the Coladoir River - Geograph - 2944971.jpg

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