The Old Bridge at Stirling
A quick nip across to Stirling at the weekend was enhanced by some sunshine and clear spells of blue sky. Only thirty five minutes from Appletree Cottage, Stirling has a great selection of shops and restaurants. Famous for its massive medieval Castle this small city also boasts Argyll's lodging, the Church of the Holy Rood, a magnificently preserved old town, close by National Wallace Monument and in the summer months Blair Drummond Safari Park. Today we stopped by the Old Stirling Bridge to explore and take a few photos.
The Old Bridge was built around 14-1500, replacing the earlier wooden structures, one of which had been the focus of The Battle of Stirling Bridge (11/Sept/1297), when the army under William Wallace defeated the English forces by allowing so many to cross the bridge and then blocking that route for the remainder of the troops.
The original wooden bridge lay a little upstream of the current Old Stirling Bridge, the stone foundations of the former being visible at low water.
The Old bridge was the lowest crossing point of the River Forth for several centuries until bridges were built at Kincardine and South Queensferry.
Perched on top of Abbey Craig, where legend has it that William Wallace's troops camped to the hill's commanding position overlooking the town of Stirling and the Forth Valley, sits the National Wallace Monument commemorating the thirteenth century leader. The monument is well worth a visit, particularly on a clear day as the views from the top are fantastic, looking towards Edinburgh in the east and Ben Lomond in the west.
During the 1945 Jacobite uprising the southern-most arch was blown up and thereby removed by General Blackney to prevent highlanders and supporters of the Jacobite movement crossing the river. The arch was rebuilt and the bridge repaired in later years.
In early days duties were charged on goods entering the borough. Customs men were installed in a covered recess in the centre of the bridge to tax such goods.
The New Bridge, Stirling
Just down-stream is the New Stirling Bridge - opened in 1833 and designed by the famous Scottish Engineer Robert Stevenson, father of the author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island). The new bridge is open to this day and carries the A9 trunk road north to Perth and beyond.