River Forth: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the River Forth.

  • The source of the River Forth is in Loch Ard, about 30km west of Stirling. Its mouth is the Firth of Forth, an estuary of the North Sea.

  • The river flows through Abrfoyle and Stirling and past Cambus, Alloa, Fallin and Airth.
  • It is 47km in length.
  • Stirling harbour was a bustling port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Stirling had a strong relationship with towns in the Netherlands, and many goods were imported from Europe and exported to Europe during this time.
  • During World War 2, Stirling was an important port for the import of tea, but today Stirling harbour is no longer in use.
  • In Stirling there has been a bridge across the Forth River since the 13th century.
  • The Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought in 1297 between the forces of William Wallace and Andrew Moray, and the English army during the First War of Scottish Independence.
  • The Forth is spanned by numerous bridges, including: The Clackmannanshire Bridge, the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing (still under construction).
  • Stirling Castle overlooks the River Forth.
  • The Forth Islands are a collection of small islands in the Firth of Forth estuary (where the River Forth flows into the North Sea).
  • The Isle of May is the biggest island in the Forth. It became a place of Christian pilgrimage and was raided by the Vikings in 870.
  • The Isle of Inchkeith was often used as a quarantine zone during outbreaks of plague and other contagious diseases.

What next? Discover some more facts about rives by visiting our Rivers resources page.

Forth Bridge: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Forth Bridge.

  • The Forth Bridge is a railway bridge spanning the Firth of Forth in Scotland. It is located less than ten miles from the city of Edinburgh.

  • It is a cantilever bridge and was opened on 4th March 1890.
  • The bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker.
  • Construction of the bridge began in 1882 and was completed in 1890.
  • One end of the Forth Bridge is in the village of South Queensferry and the other is in North Queensferry.

Forth Bridge

  • When it was opened, it was the longest single cantilever span in the world.
  • The Forth Bridge is more than 2400 metres in length, and has a height of 110 metres above the high water mark.
  • The bridge is sometimes called the Forth Rail Bridge.
  • The bridge was one of the first massive structures in the UK to be made of steel.
  • At some points during the bridge’s construction, more than 4500 men were working on the structure.

The Forth Bridge

  • More than 70 people died working on the project. The Forth Bridge Memorial was erected to honour those who had lost their lives.
  • During World War 2 a German air attack took place over the Forth Bridge. It became known as the the Forth Bridge Raid, but the bridge wasn’t the target, and it was never damaged during the war.
  • In 2015, the Forth Bridge was declared a World Heritage Site.
  • More than 180 trains cross the bridge every day.
  • The image of the Forth Bridge appeared on £1 coins issued in 2004.
  • The bridge, an iconic Scottish landmark, has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including The 39 Steps, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
  • The phrase ‘like painting the Forth Bridge’ is used to describe a seemingly endless task.
  • More than 6 million rivets were used in the original construction of the bridge.