Back to Corrieshalloch Gorge

The suspension bridge and cultural landscape

Corrieshalloch Gorge was once part of the Braemore estate belonging to Sir John Fowler (1817–98). He was a Victorian engineer who was responsible for the world’s first underground railway (the Metropolitan in London); he was also chief engineer for the Forth Railway Bridge. Fowler transformed this Highland landscape over 30 years, planting 9 million trees and building the suspension bridge over the River Droma here in 1874.

The Corrieshalloch bridge is more specifically a suspended deck span, with cast iron pylons and a wrought iron deck, that uses suspension cables instead of chains. It spans 25m from ledge to ledge, and sways slightly in the wind! Sir Benjamin Baker and John Dixon worked with Fowler on the design; both these civil engineers had worked together on the transport and installation of Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment in London.

A little further down the gorge, the cantilevered viewing platform (built by the National Trust for Scotland) offers magnificent views of the Falls of Measach and the suspension bridge.

The Braemore estate passed to John Calder in 1928, who later gifted Corrieshalloch Gorge to the National Trust for Scotland in 1945. The spectacular natural surroundings meant it was designated a National Nature Reserve in 1967, offering further levels of protection.

Stand on the bridge in winter and feel the spray from the tumbling waterfall. The stark winter vegetation highlights the steep ravine, and allows us to appreciate the powerful forces that created this gorge many thousands of years ago.

For those keen to learn more, Aidan Bell, part of the National Trust for Scotland team at Corrieshalloch Gorge, has recently published a book on John Fowler and his engineering projects, which you can buy from the Biblio website: Fowler’s Bridges