Ancient Monuments

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Crinan Canal,Crinan to Cairnbaan

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.076 / 56°4'33"N

Longitude: -5.541 / 5°32'27"W

OS Eastings: 179736

OS Northings: 692669

OS Grid: NR797926

Mapcode National: GBR DDPN.JQ7

Mapcode Global: WH0J2.VJMY

Entry Name: Crinan Canal,Crinan to Cairnbaan

Scheduled Date: 4 September 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6500

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: inland water

Location: North Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a stretch of inland waterway forming part of the Crinan Canal running from the sea-lock (lock number 15) at Crinan eastward to the summit reach immediately E of lock number 9. The canal was designed by John Rennie, and built c 1794-1809 as a ship canal linking the two sea lochs, Crinan and Gilp.

The area proposed to be scheduled includes all that part of the canal in water together with all of the towpath running along the N and NE banks and a narrow strip of ground to either side of the canal and towpath. The following canal structures are also included in the proposed scheduled area:

[1] remains of original sea-lock at Crinan basin;

[2] concrete sea-lock (lock number 15), built to replace [1] above;

[3] light tower at entrance to Crinan sea-lock;

[4] lock number 14;

[5] two-arched masonry overflow E of Crinan basin;

[6] metal swing-bridge near Kilmahumaig;

[7] canal basin W of Bellanoch;

[8] metal swing-bridge (Bellanoch Bridge) carrying the B8025 over the canal at Bellanoch;

[9] three-arched masonry overflow midway between Bellanoch and Dunardry;

[10] lock number 13 at Dunardry;

[11] lock number 12 at Dunardry;

[12] lock number 11 at Dunardry;

[13] metal rolling-bridge (Dunardry Bridge) at lock number 11;

[14] lock number 10 at Dunardry;

[15] lock number 9, and the associated dock and roofless building to its S, at Dunardry;

The area proposed to be scheduled excludes all modern fixed and floating concrete, metal and timber jetties/moorings; all modern fences, gates, posts and markers; all modern road surfaces and modern canal buildings, but includes an area to either side of the canal and towpath in which features associated with its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the attached map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents a significant feat of Georgian civil engineering by the eminent Scots engineer, John Rennie. The canal was engineered through difficult terrain to link the two sea lochs, Crinan and Gilp, thereby enabling ships to avoid the long and hazardous sea passage around the Mull of Kintyre. The canal has survived uninterrupted as a working waterway for almost two centuries and in that time has seen only minor changes; these include a concrete sea-loch at Crinan Basin, and replacement swing-bridges.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Jean, Lindsay. (1968) 'The Canals of Scotland'.

John, Hume. (1977) 'The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland, 2 The Highlands and Islands'.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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