Highbridge, Inverness-shire

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Highbridge ruins.jpg
The ruins of the bridge
Grid reference: NN199819
Location: 56°53’37"N, 4°57’27"W
Postcode: PH34
Local Government
Council: Highland

Highbridge is a ruined bridge and hamlet in Inverness-shire, standing on the banks of the River Spean, a mile or so downstream from the village of Spean Bridge.

The hamlet

There is no bridge at Highbridge, as there is no ferry at Stromeferry, but a hamlet has gathered around what was once the bridgehead. The village of Spean Bridge takes its name from the Highbridge, though Spean Bridge now has bridge of its own over the Spean.

Highbridge stands on the west bank of the Spean where the land slopes steeply down to the river. Here in 1736 General Wade built his bridge (at a cost of £1,087) in order to carry his Inverness to Fort William military road across the river. Wade's bridge was superseded in 1819 by a new bridge further upstream, designed by Thomas Telford (around which grew the village of Spean Bridge).

The bridge

High bridge, Spean Bridge.jpg
The Highbridge in 1899
Crossing: River Spean
Grid reference: NN199820
Location: 56°53’41"N, 4°57’25"W

The Highbridge was last repaired in 1893, but partially collapsed in 1913, and only the piers now remain. The remains are protected as a Category B listed building.[1]

Highbridge was the site of the first action of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, the Highbridge Skirmish. Here a small number of Keppoch MacDonalds tricked a company of troops led by Captain Scott into thinking the bridge was heavily defended. The government troops retreated and were pursued to Loch Oich, where they surrendered.


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