The Forth Bridge was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2015
The Kingdom of Fife just north of Edinburgh is known world-wide today for its abundance of golf courses dotting a scenic landscape steeped in history. The peninsula-shaped region, barely 80 km at its widest point, is full of picturesque sea towns and villages, offering great outdoor activities and wildlife. In the East Neuk of Fife you will find quaint fishing villages such as Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans and Elie, on a coastline with windswept cliffs, rocky bays and sandy beaches. St Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university town and the home of the world-famous Royal and Ancient golf club. Dunfermline, former capital of Scotland, is rich in history and heritage. Situated here is probably the most impressive of Fife’s many sights, the iconic Forth Bridge, a monumental all-steel railway bridge straddling the Forth estuary from North Queensferry to Queensferry, a total span of 2.5 km.
Header photo: The Forth Bridge at night © Welcome to Fife
A World Heritage Site
Built in the 1880’s following the spreading of railway networks and the latest advances in steel production techniques, the Forth Bridge was Britain’s first major structure built entirely of steel rather than iron. The cantilever bridge is 110 meters at the highest points, with each of the three towers resting on a granite pier. The double railway track runs 46 meters above the water at high tide. At the peak of work, some 4600 men laboured on the bridge which was officially opened on March 4, 1890 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. The bridge soon became a tourist attraction and it remains an important part of the Scottish built heritage. About 200 trains cross the bridge each day.
The Forth Bridge was inscribed on the World Heritage list in July 2015, as Scotland’s sixth site on the list. The bridge is considered to be of outstanding universal value, meeting two out of the ten selection criteria (i, iv) for inscription as World Heritage. The Forth Bridge is a masterpiece of creative genius because of its industrial aesthetic, an unadorned display of massive, functional and structural elements. As such, the bridge is an extraordinary and impressive milestone in the evolution of bridge design.