|Location Map ( geo)|
|Sluggan nr Carr Bridge|
The Bridge over the River Dulnain at Sluggan is a truly monumental structure. A huge single arch spans 75 feet from bank to bank, and climbs nearly 40 feet in the process, as the river banks are barely higher than the water level. The reason for such a massive arch is that the original two-arch bridge built by General Wade on his Inverness - Dunkeld Road in the 1730s was subsequently washed away. The date of the calamity is not known, but it must predate the construction of The new road north by Thomas Telford in the early 19th Century, as that road was essentially the alignment that later became the A9. It is always possible that the bridge was rebuilt in the 1750s by Major Caulfeild, Wades successor.
Originally the bridge carried the Military Road north to Inverness and the Fort George Citadel. To the south lay Ruthven Barracks, and beyond the road to Perth. It was therefore a very important road that would have seen heavy traffic.
The structure clearly forms three parts when looked at today. There are two rising roadways, built up from the river banks, and then the massive arch in the centre. It is almost certain therefore that the rising roadways were constructed by Wade, and re-used when the new bridge was erected. The road certainly becomes steeper at the join.
Today the bridge carries an alternative route for NCN7, although it is doubtful that anyone could actually cycle over it! The bridge has no parapets, and so in the interests of health and safety (presumably) metal railings run over the crest of the bridge, with gates at either end. A standing start even on a mountain bike from inside the gate would be nigh on impossible, it is that steep!