Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NN 16239 82599
216239, 782599


Circa 1820. Single-storey, 3-bay symmetrical cottage, with central painted, corrugated iron porch, facing canal and adjacent to swing bridge (Scheduled Monument No 3447). Harled, lined out to west gable. Single window to each gable. Extension to rear with entrance door. Rectangular-plan garden to west of cottage enclosed by coped drystone wall.

Replacement 3-pane glazing in timber sash and case frames. 4-pane glazing in fixed timber frames to porch. End stacks with clay cans. Pitched, slate roof.

The interior was seen in 2013. The plan form of 2 principal rooms flanking a central hall is largely as original, with later kitchen to rear. Some simple cornicing. Slatted timber doors.

Statement of Special Interest

This former bridge keeper's cottage is likely to date 1820, when Moy Swing Bridge was constructed to provide access to Moy Farm which is still extant to the northeast. The isolated setting of Moy Bridge Cottage with bridge and garden has not changed greatly since it was built and adds interest to the building as an indication of its former functional relationship. The cottage is a good example of a bridge keeper's cottage with a single window to each gable for views along the canal of approaching traffic. Bridge keeper's cottages are an integral and important part of the Caledonian Canal, which at the time of its construction was the largest canal in the United Kingdom.

The whole of the Caledonian Canal is a Scheduled Monument which identifies it as being of national importance to Scotland. For this section of the Caledonian Canal see Scheduled Monument No 6492, 3447 and 2500.

The primary role of a bridge keeper was to maintain and operate the swing bridges and cottages were constructed adjacent to the bridge for convenience. Cottages were usually single storey with accommodation comprised of a living room and a bedroom, and sometimes with a small outshot to the rear, used as a scullery. As living standards improved these outshots have generally been enlarged for increased kitchen and bathroom accommodation, and this is evident at Moy Bridge Cottage. The cottages were often set in garden to grow vegetables and keep poultry and animals.

When planning the canal Thomas Telford decided to use a cast-iron swing bridge of a design similar to that used at the London and West India Docks of 1805. Although several swing bridges of this type were constructed, Moy Swing Bridge (Scheduled Monument No 3447) is the only original surviving swing bridge on the Caledonian Canal. It is still hand operated using the original winch and mechanism. The ironwork was cast at the foundry of William Hazledine in Plas Kynaston, Wales. The bridge swings in two halves and until recently the bridge keeper had to row across the canal each time the bridge was in operation to open the off-side leaf.

The Caledonian Canal is one of five canals surviving in Scotland but is unique among them as being the only one entirely funded by public money. The canal was part of a wider infrastructure initiative across the Highlands to facilitate trade and the growth of industry and, most importantly for the Government, to tackle the emigration problem resulting from the Highland Clearances, by providing much-needed employment. The experienced engineer Thomas Telford submitted a report in 1802 to Government commissioners which detailed the route and size of the canal. The canal connects Inverness in the north to Corpach, near Fort William in the west, by linking four lochs: Loch Dochfur, Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy. The total length of the canal is 60 miles, but only 22 miles are man-made.

Built to take sea-going ships, including the 32-gun and 44-gun frigates of the Royal Navy, the Caledonian Canal was designed on a much larger scale than other canals in Britain and the locks were the largest ever constructed at that time. This combined with the remoteness of the location and the variable ground conditions, make it a great feat of engineering and construction.

Telford was appointed principal engineer to the commission with William Jessop as consulting engineer. Although work began in 1804 rising costs and the scale of the project resulted in slow progress and the first complete journey was made on 23-24 October 1822. Whilst the canal was constructed for commercial use it was never a commercial success. Since its opening it was beset by problems and had to be closed for repairs and improvements in the 1840s. However the canal became popular with passenger steamers with tourism increasing following a visit by Queen Victoria on 16 September 1873.

Listed building record updated as part of the Scottish Canals estate review (2013-14).



Hume, J. (1977) The Industrial Archaeology of Scotland Volume 2: p.202.

Paxton, R. & Shipway, J. (2007) Civil Engineering Heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands. London. pp 160-1.

Miers, M (2008) The Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. Rutland Press. p29.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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Text: Moy Bridge Cottage, Caledonian Canal, looking south, during daytime on a cloudy day.

Printed: 04/03/2024 02:01