THE FORTH BRIDGES

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The Firth of Forth in the South East of Scotland has three remarkable bridges, of world class design, construction and scale. The three of them are fairly close together and all three can be seen at once.

This first one here is the Forth Rail Bridge, the oldest of the three, which was opened in 1890, and is now world famous and a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This Bridge has featured in Hollywood movies including Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.

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Inchcolm Island, on the Firth of Forth, can be seen in the above photo. It’s a popular spot for visitors, with its ancient Augustine Abbey. A boat trip to the island treats visitors to a journey under all three bridges.

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Three bridges can be seen in the above photo.

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The Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge, which was opened to traffic on 4 September 1964.  At the time of its construction, it was the fourth longest bridge of its kind in the world and it was also the longest outside of the USA.

The Forth Road Bridge is now exclusively used by pedestrians, cyclists, emergency services and public transport, since the third bridge was opened.

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This third bridge is known as the Queensferry Crossing. Traffic congestion dictated the need for another road bridge across the Forth. This latest and very modern bridge is a three tower cable stayed bridge opened in 2017. It is 1.7 miles long.

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Thanks for viewing my post on these super-impressive bridges in Scotland. I would be happy to respond to any queries etc about my photos. Please use the contact facility on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

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ART AND ENGINEERING, AT FALKIRK

This is at Falkirk, Fife, in Scotland, continuing with my last year’s trip to that region.

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These magnificent structures are called Kelpies. In local Scottish mythology  Kelpies are aquatic spirits that can alter their appearance. They are said to haunt rivers and would often be seen in the shape of a horse.

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These amazing 30 meters high sculptures, composed of steel plates attached to underlying supporting structures, are situated at a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, in the Helix a Parkland Project connecting 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area. Lottery funding was granted for the sculptures.  They were designed by Scottish Sculptor Andy Scott and they are truly awsome!

The scale and complexity of this project required the  involvement of consultant and structural engineers and steelwork contractors to finally build these huge and perfectly formed heads, which can be seen from a wide surrounding area.

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Very nearby is the Falkirk Wheel, another wonderful invention and awe-inspiring engineering achievement which attracts hordes of visitors.  There is of course a visitors centre with a cafe and one can sit in comfort and watch the wheel working through the glass front of the building.

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The purpose of this wheel – the only one of its kind in the world, is to lift boats from one canal level to another.  It is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.  It reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s (when several time consuming locks were involved) and opened in 2002.

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The design of the wheel was primarily by the Architect Tony Kettle, who worked with a team of others on the project.

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In this photo above, there are boats in both the top and bottom pans –  or gondolas – as they are called.

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The wheel raises and drops boats by 24 metres (79 ft). The gondolas, in which the boats are sitting, each contain as much water as an olympic swimming pool.

Below I have inserted two videos, one of Andy Scott talking about the Kelpies and the other is describing the working of the Falkirk wheel.

 

Thanks for visiting my post. I hope you enjoyed it.  Do visit my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland?

CULROSS, SCOTLAND

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Culross is a really charming village in Fife, Scotland. A former royal burgh and parish, the village has a population of around 400.  Culross was once  a bustling industrial centre of the coal mining and salt panning industries during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and many of its buildings are from this era. Originally it is believed that a religious community was founded here by Saint Serf during the 6th century.

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The building above is surely one of the most picturesque in the village.

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The National Trust for Scotland is involved in the conservation of this historic place and owns several of the buildings.

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Stepped gables and outdoor stairs to the top floor are very typical of houses in this area. I was told the reason for the stairs was that animals were kept on the ground floor but I can’t quite believe that, looking at the style of the ground floor windows. Perhaps they were two separate houses.

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Above, the incongruous appearance of a petro-chemical works can be seen from the village.

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Of course every sweet well kept village has its share of doorstep flowers.

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I was slightly surprised at the red roof tiles but then I read that it is thought that the collier ships carried them on return from Holland as ballast, and that’s how they were introduced to the area.

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This building above and below is known as Culross Palace – not actually a royal palace, it was built by a very successful merchant, Sir George Bruce, the Laird of Carnock, between 1597 and 1611.  James VI is believed to have visited in 1617.  It is open to the public and there is a cafe there, which I didn’t manage to have time to try.

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Getting a bit out of date now, the above two notices were displayed on either side of someone’s front door, giving a flavour of local sentiment.

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Culross Abbey was founded in 1217. The monastery is now a ruin but the remaining part of the building is used by the Church of Scotland as a local Parish Church.

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This village has been a film location for several films, not surprisingly, the most recent being the popular TV series Outlander.

There are other notable buildings but I have lost several photos.

The name Culross is generally pronounced Cooriss locally.

These photos are from June 2019.  I have more Scotland photos to come. Do come back again. Thanks for visiting.

I can be contacted via my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

 

 

 

FALKLAND VILLAGE, SCOTLAND

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The village of Falkland in Fife, Scotland is a really pretty, well presented conservation village. The village houses are mostly built of cut stone, with  attractive but simple geometric styling.  The village also is home to the impressive Falkland Palace. This area was a location of the TV series ‘Outlander’.

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Shop window in Falkland village, above.

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Falkland Palace, a royal palace of Scottish Kings, a favourite place to visit of Mary Queen of Scots, originated in the 12th/13th centuries, and underwent various transformations in the centuries that followed. It was used in the filming of the TV series ‘Outlander’ and is a popular place for visitors now, being open to the public and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

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I love the stepped effect on the gable walls that can be seen on many houses in this area.

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This is the gate house at the Falkland Estate. Just look at those chimneys!

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The Falkland Estate is now a place of learning and recreation and there is a network of walks and cycle paths around the estate. Mine was a short visit, so I just have photos of the places I happened to see.

Below are some black and white photos I took while on a forest trail on the estate.

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This was last June, 2019. You might expect a good number of tourists around, but it was fairly quiet. A great place to visit if you don’t like crowds, and you can generally expect less rain and more sunshine here than in the more popular west of the country.  I mean, one day I really hope to see Skye – I’ve been there three times and each time it was shrouded in heavy mist and rain!

More from this region will follow. But there are more photos on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

STAY WELL!

CHARLESTOWN, ITS LIMEKILNS etc.

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I visited Scotland last summer, where I visited friends in Charlestown, Fife,  but haven’t got round to showing these photos until now. Staying at home more due to the corona virus restrictions has finally motivated me to try to get it done.

Charlestown was a planned village created by Charles Bruce, the 5th Earl of Elgin in the 1750s.  The village cottages were built to house the workers operating the limekilns, intending to make the estate a major producer of lime for building purposes and fertiliser. Coal and limestone were resources already available on the estate. The lime industry was previously located in the neighbouring village called Limekilns.

Charlestown soon became one of the most important industrial centres in Scotland, served by a railway and harbour. It’s located on the coast of the Forth estuary, which flows into the North Sea on the East of Scotland.

But from the 1930s lime production diminished and the limekilns at Charlestown finally closed in 1956.  They quickly became derelict and neglected but work on their restoration began in about 1990 and today they represent an amazing bit of history and industrial architecture.

Here are my photos of those wonderful architectural old lime kilns at Charlestown.

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The harbour, now a rather sleepy place compared with it’s once hustle and bustle.

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An old type of houseboat, moored at the harbour.

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The old worker’s cottages on the Elgin estate, now desirable residences. The tiny stone cottages, with their spacious gardens, all appear to have extensions built now.  Most of them have fabulous gardens, some in the front and back.  I was so impressed with my friend’s garden, above. You couldn’t do that in many parts of West Kerry.

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The above rooftops and chimneys are of houses on the coast road, Charleston.

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A view of the Queensferry Bridge, with the evening sun illuminating the cables, one of three bridges over the Firth of Forth. Another bridge can be glimpsed in the background. I will show more of these bridges in another post.

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The area is amazingly colourful with flowers – wild and cultivated, everywhere. Above is a field of wild poppies, close to the village. I was amazed to see how much more flowerful the area is compared with back in West Kerry, and the foliage growth on the trees much more advanced, in spite of the more northerly latitude, and also on the cold North Sea. The windy Atlantic coast at home does seem to shorten our summer. They also get more sunshine in this part of Scotland than in West Kerry.

I have more Scotland to show. I hope to do so soon, now that more severe Corona Virus restrictions are keeping me at home.

There are more photos of Scotland on my website, I’m still in the process of adding to that:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c867-photos-of-scotland

It’s possible to contact me from the website.

Thanks for visiting my post. BE SAFE!