Bridge Over The Atlantic, UK – Clachan Bridge to the Island of Seil

Just south of Oban in Scotland lies a bridge built in 1792. Connecting the Island of Seil to mainland Scotland, the bridge is known as Clachan Bridge. It gets its name from the body of water it crosses, which is the Clachan Sound. However it has a second name, which is the “Bridge over the Atlantic”. But why such a grandiose name?

The Clachan Bridge/Bridge Over the Atlantic

History of the “Bridge Over the Atlantic” name

In 1688 the Glorious Revolution in the UK happened. Parliament replaced King James II with William of Orange and Mary II, but not everyone was happy with that. Those who supported James II were the Jacobites. They led several revolts against the government in London between 1689 and 1745. This was finally squashed in 1745; harsh laws came into effect throughout areas that were predominantly Jacobite, including Scotland. One of the laws that came into force banned kilts on the mainland.

Clachan Sound and the Atlantic in the distance

Fast forward to 1792: Clachan Bridge now stands and is the main way to access the island. The Bridge and the nearby pub, “Tigh An Truish” (literally “the House of Trousers”), became a place where travellers stopped to change out of trousers and change into kilts. Since it was not the mainland, it was a loophole in the law that could be exploited.

The Tign An Truish Pub in the mid-ground

The Bridge and Sound

Clachan Bridge is a stone bridge with a single arch and currently forms part of the B844. It enables cars onto the island approximately 8 miles/13 kilometres south of Oban. It spans 72 feet/22 metres and stands about 39 feet/12 metres above the bed of the Sound.

The other side of the bridge

If you want to visit the Bridge, you can find it here. There is car parking for the Tigh an Truish but it is for patrons only, although there are often extra spaces if they do not have many patrons. A quick stop will not be a problem.


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