Ancient Monuments

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Crinan Canal,Cairnbaan - Ardrishaig

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.0606 / 56°3'37"N

Longitude: -5.4699 / 5°28'11"W

OS Eastings: 184072

OS Northings: 690730

OS Grid: NR840907

Mapcode National: GBR DDWP.M9F

Mapcode Global: WH0J3.YXGS

Entry Name: Crinan Canal,Cairnbaan - Ardrishaig

Scheduled Date: 4 September 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6501

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: inland water

Location: South Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a stretch of inland waterway forming part of the Crinal Canal running from the summit reach at Cairnbaan, immediately E of lock number 9 to the sea-lock (lock number 1) at Ardrishaig. The canal was designed by the eminent Scots engineer 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, NE and E 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] masonry feeder arch W of lock number 8;

[2] lock number 8 at Cairnbaan;

[3] lock number 7 at Cairnbaan;

[4] lock number 6 at Cairnbaan;

[5] metal swing-bridge W of lock number 5 at Cairnbaan;

[6] lock number 5 at Cairnbaan;

[7] three-arch masonry overflow at Craig Glass Burn;

[8] masonry culvert carrying unnamed burn opposite Badden Farm under the canal;

[9] metal swing-bridge (Oakfield Bridge), W of Lochgilphead;

[10] masonry engine house containing automatic water waster N of Hazelburn Cottage, N of Ardrishaig;

[11] masonry culvert carrying unnamed burn beside Hazelburn Cottage under the canal;

[12] four-arch masonry overflow opposite Towpath Cottage, Ardrishaig;

[13] masonry culvert carrying the Kilduskland Burn, Ardrishaig, under the canal;

[14] stop-lock beside Glenfyne Park, Ardrishaig;

[15] lock number 4 at Ardrishaig;

[16] metal swing-bridge at lock number 4;

[17] lock number 3 at Ardrishaig;

[18] lock number 2 at Ardrishaig;

[19] metal swing-bridge carrying the A83 over the canal at Ardrishaig;

[20] concrete sea-lock (lock number 1) at Ardrishaig, built to replace [21] below;

[21] remains of original sea-lock at Ardrishaig.

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 new concrete sea-lock at Ardrishaig 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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