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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 13/12/1999


  • Local Authority: Highland
  • Planning Authority: Highland
  • Burgh: Inverness

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNH 64847 46600
  • Coordinates264847, 846600


SWING BRIDGE: rebuilt 1909 for the Highland Railway. Steel bowed box-girder swing bridge 37.5m long over Caledonian Canal, with protective timber starlings on both banks of canal.

SIGNAL BOX: (Map Ref: NH 64816, 46578): Mackenzie and Holland for Highland Railway, 1890. 2-storey, rectangular-plan, plank and strip weatherboarded signal box set on brick base. Timber forestair to raised doorway in projecting, half-gabled porch. Continuous fenestration with 4-pane glazing to track frontage, returning to gables. Tin roof with projecting eaves and timber bargeboarding. Small mechanical lever frame with four levers labelled 'up', 'down' and 'bridge locks'.

Statement of Special Interest

The swing bridge and signal box at Clachnaharry are excellent examples of their industrial building types with strong contextual association with the Caladonian Canal. They are located on the outskirts of Inverness at the mouth of the Caledonian Canal where it joins the Beauly Firth. The strong functional relationship between the swing bridge, canal, signal box and railway combine to add significantly to the group value at this scenic location.

The first bridge on this site was made of wrought-iron and designed by Joseph Mitchell for the Inverness and Ross-shire Railway in 1862. The 1909 rebuild appears to have been a straight forward replacement of the original structure in steel. It crosses the canal at an angle of 65 degrees and is electrically controlled from the signal box at W end of bridge. There is a level crossing for canal towpath users between the box and the bridge.

Signal boxes are a distinctive and increasingly rare building type that make a significant contribution to Scotland's diverse industrial heritage. Of more than 2000 signal boxes built across Scotland by 1948, around 150 currently survive (2013) with all pre-1948 mechanical boxes still in operation on the public network due to become obsolete by 2021. The signal box at Clachnaharry is a small and little-altered 1890 'Type 3' box by McKenzie and Holland. This important signalling manufacturer provided the signalling for much of the Highland Railway during the late 19th century. Other survivals of this once widespread type are a particularly large example at Aviemore Station and the North box at Boat of Garten Station on the preserved Strathspey Railway line (see separate listings).

List Description updated as part of Scottish Signal Box Review (2012-13)



2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1903). Gordon Biddle and O.S Nock, The Railway Heritage of Britain (1983) p168. The Signalling Study Group, The Signal Box - A Pictorial History and Guide To Designs (1986). Peter Kay and Derek Coe, Signalling Atlas and Signal Box Directory - Great Britain and Ireland (2010 - 3rd Edition).

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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