Ancient Monuments

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Fort Augustus-Bernera military road, 570m south east of Achlain

A Scheduled Monument in Aird and Loch Ness, Highland

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Latitude: 57.1676 / 57°10'3"N

Longitude: -4.841 / 4°50'27"W

OS Eastings: 228315

OS Northings: 812106

OS Grid: NH283121

Mapcode National: GBR G9FS.19T

Mapcode Global: WH2FG.L3ZL

Entry Name: Fort Augustus-Bernera military road, 570m SE of Achlain

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11483

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: road or trackway; Secular: bridge

Location: Urquhart and Glenmoriston

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Aird and Loch Ness

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises a stretch of military road, including two bridges, that was built in the mid-18th century

The road now survives as a grass- and moss-covered track that is approximately 340 m long and an average width of 5.3 m. There are two well-preserved single-arch masonry bridges which measure 3.5 by 11 m and 3 by 6 m respectively. The track is encroached by some tree roots.

The Fort Augustus-Bernera military road was built by Major William Caulfeild in 1748-53 to link the Hanoverian garrison at Fort Augustus to the barracks in Glenelg some 70 km to the W. A drove route from Skye and Glenelg was utilised and metalled for troops, carts and artillery. Caulfeild's road appears on Roy's military survey of 1747-55. The road ceased to be maintained after 1784 as the Jacobite threat dissipated. Thomas Telford bypassed some sections which were unsuitable for carriages as part of the Parliamentary Road building programme in 1808-11.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular corridor on plan, centred on the centre of the road, to include the road and all associated structures including bridges, ditches, fords and drains, and an area around in which associated evidence may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: Though much of the original road fabric does not survive, this stretch preserves two military bridges which survive in a good state of preservation. It has the considerable potential to enhance our understanding of the construction and development of 18th-century military roads and bridges.

Contextual characteristics: While around 1800 km of military roads were built in Scotland between 1724 and 1780, very few survive with any original features intact as most were reused as public roads. Bridges form part of the two stretches presently preserved as scheduled ancient monuments and there are a few individual scheduled military bridges. In the vicinity, a 6 km stretch of the Fort Augustus-Bernera military road is also proposed for scheduling.

Associative characteristics: The road was built as part of a wider strategy of arteries for use by an army of occupation to control the Scottish highlands. The requirement to link two of the Hanoverian barracks (position decided in 1717) determined the location of the monument. General Wade devised the form and materials used by Major Caulfeild in the first programme of road-building (1724-5), such as standardised width, particular construction technique and preference for direct routes. The intended use of the monument would have had a significant effect on the people who used the road and those people they intended to subjugate. Its survival no doubt has an effect on the national consciousness given the impact of the Jacobite Era. The literary pair Dr Johnson and Mr Boswell followed the route in 1773, and its association with these popular historical figures is remembered today.

National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the Jacobite-Hanoverian era in Scotland. It retains the field characteristics of its kind to a marked degree. The loss of or damage to the monument would significantly diminish the capacity of the class of military roads and bridges to contribute to our understanding of 18th-century Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NH21SE 13.03 'Cregan Mhartainn Bridge' and NH21SE 13.04 'Allt A Chaise Burn Bridge'.



General Roy, Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-55.

Taylor, W 1976, THE MILITARY ROADS IN SCOTLAND, London: David & Charles.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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