Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Forth Railway Bridge and Hawes Inn

Husband and I have just come back from a two-night break which seemed longer. Apart from enjoyable time away from the computer to talk, walk and explore, my imagination was stirred by some of the sights over on the east coast of Scotland (we live on the west).

Yesterday, we spent a pleasant few hours in South Queensferry, an interesting and picturesque coastal town which sits at one end of the majestic Forth Railway Bridge and Forth Road Bridge. The Railway Bridge is one of the most recognisable sights in Scotland and is even more stunning viewed from the ground beneath it. One of the world's first major steel bridges, it was finally completed in 1890 after six years of incredible Victorian engineering skills, £3 million, and some loss of life. It is Scotland's largest listed building. Spanning the Forth, the birdge provide a much needed rail link across the river, and the Forth Road Bridge, opened in 1964, stands as a parallel road link.

A little way past the shops, on the shore, stands the historic Binks. The plaque attached to the arrangement of stones reads:

Until about 1812, the natural jetty formed by these rocks was a regular landing place for the Queen’s Ferry, so named since Margaret, second wife of Malcolm Canmore King of Scots from 1058 to 1093, endowed ships for the free passage of pilgrims and the poor and hostels for them on either shore. It may be assumed that she used the ferry herself when going between Dunfermline and Edinburgh Castle.

Tucked beneath the bridge stands the famous Hawes Inn, which dates from 1683. A village pub for the fishing and ferry community, it has strong links with Robert Louis Steveson and Sir Walter Scott - and it still serves a tasty lunch in wonderful wood panelled surroundings.
The town has many interesting and historic buildings, making it an ideal day out to explore the past.


Cathie Dunn said...

That's almost on our doorstep. ;-)

Your trip sounds lovely, Rosemary. Yes, it's nice to get away from computers and explore history and scenery. I like South Queensferry. Such a quaint little place.

Did you travel along the Fife coastline eastward? There are a couple of cute fishing villages, very picturesque.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Cathie - thanks for commenting. I didn't realise you were on the east coast! We often go over there and, yes, we love the east neuk. Crail is my favourite place, but we wanted a change this time and loved S.Q. - and I've always the history around Dunfermline.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

We've visited there several times from Atlanta and Daytona Beacg, a long way. Love your country. It has a peaceful quality, restful. Glad you could get away to recharge. We're keeping you busy "over there' via over here.

Linda Swift said...

This bridge is awesome, Rosemary. I enjoyed reading about the history surrounding it and the area. Thank you for sharing and I'm glad you and your husband had a lovely holiday break. Linda

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Julie - thanks for that comment. Glad you've managed to see the area before!

Many thanks for commenting, Linda - it was a much needed little interlude in our busy lives!

Ute Carbone said...

I love the bridge, Romy. I can't even imagine what it must have taken to build and engineer such a structure in the days before cranes and diggers!
Sounds like you had a fabulous vacation.

Katbalou said...

The east coast has so much character doesn't it:-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Ute - I'm always amazed too! The Victorian engineers were the best.

Hi Karen - it does indeed, although I still love the beauty of the west coast!

Linda Kage said...

I think I'd feel like I was on a constant vacation if I lived in your area of the world. You have such gorgeous picturesque bridges and inns with great history behind them in Scotland.

There is a bridges south of me in Oklahoma where about six men were killed while it was being constructed. It was made of concrete and I guess they're buried inside the bridge (probably not on purpose). So I feel like I'm driving over someone's grave whenever I cross it, which I guess I am!

Thanks for sharing your pictures and history.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Linda - thanks for coming over. It's all the history here that often inspires me!

Oh, that's an awful thought about driving across your bridge! Could be spooky.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I've never been there but it looks and sounds great.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Just realised you'd left a comment, Debs - thank you! It was an interesting place.

Alphonse Daigle said...

The Forth Railway Bridge is considered as the first major structure in Britain to be made of steel. I'm afraid its contemporary, which is the Eiffel Tower, was built of wrought iron. Even today, the Forth Bridge is regarded as an engineering marvel. Just look at its 2.5 kilometer length, and the double track which is elevated 46 meters above the water level at high tide. Personally, it's one of the perfect bridges of Scotland.

Alphonse Daigle