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TITLE
Telford bridge at The Mound, Loch Fleet
EXTERNAL ID
HC_PLANNING_06_025_1321
PLACENAME
The Mound, Loch Fleet
DISTRICT
Golspie, Rogart and Lairg
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Golspie
DATE OF IMAGE
1980
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
T. Kenneth MacKenzie
SOURCE
The Highland Council Planning Department
ASSET ID
15212
KEYWORDS
bridges
crossings
lochs
rivers
engineering
engineers
Telford bridge at The Mound, Loch Fleet

Plans for shortening the route between north and south by building a crossing at Loch Fleet were included in the 1803 Parliamentary commission for improving and building roads in the Highlands. The crossing was designed by Thomas Telford and built where Loch Fleet meets the River Fleet. There is a large earth causeway with a stone bridge at the northern end. Work took place between 1814 and 1816.

The bridge has six arches with sluice gates. The gates prevent the sea water travelling further upstream at high tide but still allow river water out when the tide recedes. The gates are self-regulating but had a pulley system installed in 1833 under the direction of Thomas Telford so that the gates could be raised manually at times when the river was in spate. Salmon coming to spawn in the river wait in the pool below the bridge until the sluice gates open as the tide goes out before continuing their journey. The causeway carried the Dornoch Light Railway until its closure in 1960 and still carries the main road although the road now crossed a modern bridge rather than the stone arched bridge.

The crossing had a significant effect on the ecology of the river estuary as it stops the sea water 2km short of its natural high tide mark. The build up of silt above the bridge made the land ideal for alder and willow growing. The Mound Alderwood is now one of the largest in Britain and a National Nature Reserve.

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Telford bridge at The Mound, Loch Fleet

SUTHERLAND: Golspie

1980s

bridges; crossings; lochs; rivers; engineering; engineers;

The Highland Council Planning Department

The Highland Council Planning Dept

Plans for shortening the route between north and south by building a crossing at Loch Fleet were included in the 1803 Parliamentary commission for improving and building roads in the Highlands. The crossing was designed by Thomas Telford and built where Loch Fleet meets the River Fleet. There is a large earth causeway with a stone bridge at the northern end. Work took place between 1814 and 1816.<br /> <br /> The bridge has six arches with sluice gates. The gates prevent the sea water travelling further upstream at high tide but still allow river water out when the tide recedes. The gates are self-regulating but had a pulley system installed in 1833 under the direction of Thomas Telford so that the gates could be raised manually at times when the river was in spate. Salmon coming to spawn in the river wait in the pool below the bridge until the sluice gates open as the tide goes out before continuing their journey. The causeway carried the Dornoch Light Railway until its closure in 1960 and still carries the main road although the road now crossed a modern bridge rather than the stone arched bridge.<br /> <br /> The crossing had a significant effect on the ecology of the river estuary as it stops the sea water 2km short of its natural high tide mark. The build up of silt above the bridge made the land ideal for alder and willow growing. The Mound Alderwood is now one of the largest in Britain and a National Nature Reserve.