Scheduled Monument

Crinan Canal,Cairnbaan - ArdrishaigSM6501

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Industrial: bridge, viaduct, aqueduct; dock, harbour, lock; engine, engine house; inland water; light, warning, signal
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
South Knapdale
NR 84072 90730
184072, 690730


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.

Statement of National Importance

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.




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

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

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 03/08/2020 21:41