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Picture No 41. Courtesy of Tain & District Museum.
Year: 1870
Catalogue No. 2107.2

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Old Bonar Bridge

This bridge was built in 1811/12 to the plan of Telford. It provided the first road link between Ross-shire and Sutherland but was destroyed by flood in 1892. Does anyone know anything about the sailing boat in the picture and/or a more accurate date for when the photo was taken?
Picture added on 23 February 2004.


The sailing ship is a "Hermaphrodite Brig", so called because the sail plan is a mix between square sails (foremast) and fore-and-aft sails (aftermast). The fore-and-aft sails give maneuverability in different winds while the square sails give good speed downwind.
Added by Brian MacLeod on 10 June 2004.

How could I get good photos/drawings/paintings of the Bonar Bridge - Old and New bridges? Also the Bonar Castle? Our family name is Bonar and we are from Iowa in the USA.
Added by Linda & Bob Bonar on 26 August 2005.

Have a look at the 2nd picture here

there are some similarities

Added by Ross on 15 October 2006.

Hello Linda and Bob. I can give you some images if you contact me by e-mail andrew_d_mackenzie 'at'

On the castle, you must be thinking of Carbisdale Castle.

I have created the wikipedia page for Bonar ( where you can find more information on Bonar and linked to information about Carbisdale.

I'd be interested to hear the history of your surname.

Added by Andrew Mackenzie on 25 October 2008.

My Great Grandfather Alexander Fergus ROSS was born in Tain 1842 to Mary (nee MACKAY) & John ROSS and was educated at Tain Royal Academy. His father a prominent shipowner and possible a farmer. Any Ideas were I could find any further information on either the any of these people?
Many Thanks

Added by Robin Tully on 21 December 2010.

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