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Nairn Bridge

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Nairn Bridge
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (3)
Highway Authority
Transport Scotland
Opening Date
1631, 1803, 1829, 1868, 1936
Additional Information
Bridge Type:  Arch Bridge
Engineer:  Fairhurst Engineering
On road(s)
Crossings related to the A96

Nairn Bridge carries the A96 across the River Nairn to the east of the town centre. It has had an interesting history, with multiple collapses over the centuries, but seems to have survived unscathed for 150 years now.


The earliest recorded bridge to cross the Nairn here was built in c1631, however it seems probable that there was a crossing before that, as the town proves an ancient crossing point, as well as the harbour. That early bridge stood for 160 years before being washed away in a flood in 1794. Its replacement was constructed in 1803/4 by the Burn brothers, but only survived intact for about 25 years before being severely damaged in 1829. It was subsequently repaired, only to partially collapse once more in 1868. However, since then and despite being widened in 1936, by FA MacDonalds, it has remained as a permanent crossing of the river.

The Bridge

The structure itself consists of three red sandstone arches across the river, of which the eastern one acts primarily as a flood arch with a cycle track passing underneath. The spandrels between the arches are decorated with blank occuli, whilst the arches themselves have emphasised stonework.

Old and new arches under the bridge

The bridge was clearly widened on the north, seaward side, which is essentially a concrete bridge sitting next to the stone structure. However, to maintain the appearance, the concrete is faced with a fresh ring of the emphasised stonework - the original arch can still be seen from underneath. The Occuli, however, appear to have been transferred from the old bridge, as the stonework seem to be eroded far more than the rest of this new face. Underneath, the difference in the two structures is clear, with the newer concrete arch being higher, and a slightly different profile. However, the facing stonework is suspended below the concrete arch to match the old bridge.

Nairn Bridge
Related Pictures
View gallery (3)
Crossings of the River Nairn
Aberarder Bridge • Balnafoich Bridge • Bridge of Faillie • Daviot Bridge • White Bridge • Howford Bridge • Nairn Bridge

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