Kingdom of Northumbria
The Kingdom of Northumbria was a medieval Anglian kingdom in what is now Northern England and south-east Scotland. The name derives from the Old English Norþan-hymbre meaning "the people or province north of the Humber", which reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary. Northumbria started to consolidate into one kingdom in the early seventh century, when the two earlier core territories of Deira and Bernicia entered into a dynastic union. At its height, the kingdom extended from the Humber, Peak District and the River Mersey on the south to the Firth of Forth on the north. Northumbria ceased to be an independent kingdom in the mid-tenth century, though a rump Earldom of Bamburgh survived around Bernicia in the north to be absorbed into the mediaeval kingdoms of Scotland and England. Today, Northumbria refers to a smaller region corresponding to the counties of Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear in North East England; the term is used in the names of some North East regional institutions the Northumbria Police, (based in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Northumbria Army Cadet Force, the regionalist Northumbrian Association.
The local Environment Agency office, located in Newcastle Business Park uses the term Northumbria to describe its area. However, the term is not the official name for the EU region of North East England; the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was two kingdoms divided around the River Tees: Bernicia was to the north of the river and Deira to the south. It is possible that both regions originated as native British Kingdoms which the Germanic settlers conquered, although there is little information about the infrastructure and culture of the British kingdoms themselves. Much of the evidence for them comes from regional names that are British rather than Anglo-Saxon in origin; the names Deira and Bernicia are British in origin, for example, indicating that some British place names retained currency after the Anglo-Saxon migrations to Northumbria. There is some archeological evidence to support British origins for the polities of Bernicia and Deira. In what would have been southern Bernicia, in the Cheviot Hills, a hill fort at Yeavering called Yeavering Bell contains evidence that it was an important centre for first the British and the Anglo-Saxons.
The fort is pre-Roman, dating back to the Iron Age at around the first century. In addition to signs of Roman occupation, the site contains evidence of timber buildings that pre-date Germanic settlement in the area that are signs of British settlement. Moreover, Brian Hope-Taylor has traced the origins of the name Yeavering, which looks deceptively English, back to the British gafr from Bede's mention of a township called Gefrin in the same area. Yeavering continued to be an important political centre after the Anglo-Saxons began settling in the north, as King Edwin had a royal palace at Yeavering. Overall, English place-names dominate the Northumbrian landscape, suggesting the prevalence of an Anglo-Saxon elite culture by the time that Bede—one of Anglo-Saxon England's most prominent historians—was writing in the eighth century. According to Bede, the Angles predominated the Germanic immigrants that settled north of the Humber and gained political prominence during this time period. While the British natives may have assimilated into the Northumbrian political structure contemporary textual sources such as Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People depict relations between Northumbrians and the British as fraught.
The Anglo-Saxon countries of Bernicia and Deira were in conflict before their eventual semi-permanent unification in 654. Political power in Deira was concentrated in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which included York, the North York Moors, the Vale of York; the political heartlands of Bernicia were the areas around Bamburgh and Lindisfarne and Jarrow, in Cumbria, west of the Pennines in the area around Carlisle. The name that these two countries united under, may have been coined by Bede and made popular through his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Information on the early royal genealogies for Bernicia and Deira comes from Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People and Welsh chronicler Nennius’ Historia Brittonum. According to Nennius, the Bernician royal line begins with son of Eoppa. Ida was able to annex Bamburgh to Bernicia. In Nennius’ genealogy of Deira, a king named Soemil was the first to separate Bernicia and Deira, which could mean that he wrested the kingdom of Deira from the native British.
The date of this supposed separation is unknown. The first Deiran king to make an appearance in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum is Ælle, the father of the first Roman Catholic Northumbrian king Edwin. A king of Bernicia, Ida's grandson Æthelfrith, was the first ruler to unite the two polities under his rule, he exiled the Deiran Edwin to the court of King Rædwald of the East Angles in order to claim both kingdoms, but Edwin returned in 616 to conquer Northumbria with Rædwald's aid. Edwin, who ruled from 616 to 633, was one of the last kings of the Deiran line to reign over all of Northumbria. Oswald's brother Oswiu succeeded him to the Northumbrian throne despite initial attempts on Deira's part to pull away again. Although the Bernician line became the royal line of Northumbria
Battle of Dun Nechtain
The Battle of Dun Nechtain or Battle of Nechtansmere was fought between the Picts, led by King Bridei Mac Bili, the Northumbrians, led by King Ecgfrith, on 20 May 685. The Northumbrian hegemony over Northern Britain, won by Ecgfrith's predecessors, had begun to disintegrate. Several of Northumbria's subject nations had rebelled in recent years, leading to a number of large-scale battles against the Picts and Irish, with varied success. After sieges of neighbouring territories carried out by the Picts, Ecgfrith led his forces against them, despite advice to the contrary, in an effort to reassert his suzerainty over the Pictish nations. A feigned retreat by the Picts drew the Northumbrians into an ambush at Dun Nechtain near the lake of Linn Garan; the battle site has long been thought to have been near the present-day village of Dunnichen in Angus. Recent research, has suggested a more northerly location near Dunachton, on the shores of Loch Insh in Badenoch and Strathspey; the battle ended with a decisive Pictish victory which weakened Northumbria's power in northern Britain.
Ecgfrith was killed in battle, along with the greater part of his army. The Pictish victory marked their independence from Northumbria, who never regained their dominance in the north. During the seventh century, the Northumbrians extended their territory to the north; the Annals of Tigernach record a siege of "Etain" in 638, interpreted as Northumbria's conquest of Eidyn during the reign of Oswald, marking the annexation of Gododdin territories to the south of the River Forth. To the north of the Forth, the Pictish nations consisted at this time of the kingdom of Fortriu to the north of the Mounth, a "Southern Pictish Zone" between there and the Forth. Evidence from the eighth century Anglo-Saxon historian Bede points to the Picts being subjugated by the Northumbrians during Oswald's reign, suggests that this subjugation continued into the reign of his successor, Oswiu. Ecgfrith succeeded Oswiu as king of Northumbria in 670. Soon after, the Picts rose in rebellion against Northumbrian subjugation at the Battle of Two Rivers, recorded in the 8th century by Stephen of Ripon, hagiographer of Wilfrid.
Ecgfrith was aided by a sub-king, Beornhæth, who may have been a leader of the Southern Picts, the rebellion ended in disaster for the Northern Picts of Fortriu. Their king, Drest mac Donuel, was replaced by Bridei mac Bili. By 679, the Northumbrian hegemony was beginning to fall apart; the Irish annals record a Mercian victory over Ecgfrith at which Ecgfrith's brother, Ælfwine of Deira, was killed. Sieges were recorded at Dunnottar, in the northern-most region of the "Southern Pictish Zone" near Stonehaven in 680 and at Dundurn in Strathearn in 682; the antagonists in these sieges are not recorded, but the most reasonable interpretation is thought to be that Bridei's forces were the assailants. Bridei is recorded as having "destroyed" the Orkney Islands in 681, at a time when the Northumbrian church was undergoing major religious reform, it had followed the traditions of the Columban church of Iona until the Synod of Whitby in 664 at which it pledged loyalty to the Roman Church. The Northumbrian diocese was divided and a number of new episcopal sees created.
One of these was founded at Abercorn on the south coast of the Firth of Forth, Trumwine was consecrated as Bishop of the Picts. Bridei, enthusiastically involved with the church of Iona, is unlikely to have viewed an encroachment of the Northumbrian-sponsored Roman church favourably; the attacks on the Southern Pictish Zone at Dunnottar and Dundurn represented a major threat to Ecgfrith's suzerainty. Ecgfrith was contending with other challenges to his overlordship. In June 684, countering a Gaelic-Briton alliance, he sent his armies, led by Berhtred, son of Beornhæth, to Brega in Ireland. Ecgfrith's force decimated the local population and destroyed many churches, actions which are treated with scorn by Bede. While none of the historical sources explicitly state Ecgfrith's reason for attacking Fortriu in 685, the consensus is that it was to reassert Northumbria's hegemony over the Picts; the most thorough description of the battle is given by Bede in his 8th-century work Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, but this is still brief.
Additional detail is given in the Irish annals of Ulster and Tigernach, by the early Welsh historian Nennius in his Historia Brittonum. Ecgfrith's attack on Fortriu was made against the counsel of his advisors, including Cuthbert, made Bishop of Lindisfarne; the Picts, led by Bridei, feigned retreat and drew Ecgfrith's Northumbrian force into an ambush on Saturday 20 May 685 at a lake in mountains near Duin Nechtain. The Northumbrian army was defeated and Ecgfrith slain; the site of the battle is uncertain. Until recently the battle was most known by its Northumbrian name, the Battle of Nechtansmere, from the Old English for'Nechtan's lake', following 12th-century English historian Symeon of Durham; the location of the battle near a lake is reinforced by Nennius' record of the conflict as Gueith Linn Garan, Old Welsh for'Battle of Crane Lake'. It is that Linn Garan was the original Pictish name for the lake; the most complete narrative of the battle itself is given by Bede, who fails to inform us of the location other than his mention that it took place'in straits of inaccessible mountains'.
The Irish Annals have provided the most useful resource for identifying the battle site, giving the location as Dún Nechtain,'Nechtan's Fort', a name that has
Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, on the River Esk. It was granted a burgh of barony in 1401 and a burgh of regality in 1540; the settlement of Dalkeith grew southwestwards from its 12th-century castle. Dalkeith has a population of 12,342 people according to the 2011 census; the town is split into four distinct areas: Dalkeith proper with its town centre and historic core, with Eskbank to its west. and Woodburn to its east. Eskbank is the well-heeled district of Dalkeith with newer houses. To the south of Eskbank is Newbattle with its abbey. Woodburn is a working class council estate. Dalkeith is the main administrative centre for Midlothian, it is twinned with France. In 2004, Midlothian Council re-paved Jarnac Court in honour of Dalkeith and Jarnac's long standing link. There is an estate called Thornybank on the edge of Dalkeith near the industrial estate beyond, the newly built Dalkeith Campus - housing the high schools of Dalkeith and St David's. Dalkeith is understood to be a Cumbric name, cognate with Welsh ddôl'meadow, valley' + coed'wood'.
One of the earliest historical references to Dalkeith is found in the Chronicles of Jean Froissart who stayed at Dalkeith Castle for fifteen days. He writes of the Battle of Otterburn and the death of James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas: "I, author of this book, in my youth had ridden nigh over all the realm of Scotland, I was fifteen days in the house of earl William Douglas, father to the same earl James, of whom I spake of now, in a castle of five leagues from Edinburgh, called in the country Dalkeith; the same time I saw there this earl James, a fair young child, a sister of his called the lady Blanche." In 1650, Oliver Cromwell's army came to Dalkeith. His officer General George Monck, was Commander in Scotland, the government of the country was based out of Dalkeith castle. In the 17th century, Dalkeith had one of Scotland's largest markets in its exceptionally broad High Street. In 1831, Dalkeith was linked to Edinburgh by a railway line that transported coal and agricultural produce. Two decades in 1853, a Corn Exchange, at the time the largest indoor grain market in Scotland, was built.
In 1879, Dalkeith was where William Ewart Gladstone started his campaign for British Prime Minister, which became known as the "Midlothian Campaign". The Collegiate Church of St Nicholas Buccleuch known as Dalkeith Parish Church, stands on High Street. Dedicated to St Nicholas, this medieval church became a collegiate establishment in 1406, founded by Sir James Douglas; the nave and transepts date from 1854, when the inside of the church was altered. The chancel was abandoned in 1590, walled off from the rest of the church, is now ruinous. Sir James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton, his wife Joanna, daughter of James I, are buried in the choir and have stone effigies. St Nicholas Buccleuch Church remains one of the two Church of Scotland parish churches in Dalkeith, the other being St John's and King's Park Church; the Episcopal Church, St Mary's is on High Street, at the entrance to Dalkeith Country Park. St David's Church, on Eskbank Road, is the only Roman Catholic church in the town, it is a category A listed building and was built in 1854.
Dalkeith Palace which replaced the castle in the late 16th century and was rebuilt in the early 18th century, lies at the north-east edge of the town. It is a seat of the Duke of Buccleuch, surrounded by parkland and follies; the building on High Street now known as the Tolbooth began to be used as a tolbooth for the administration of the town in the early 18th century. The plaque above the door reads'1648' but this was taken from another building and does not denote when the Tolbooth was built, it served as a place for law and order and featured a prison in the west half, a court room on the east, a dungeon known as the ‘black hole’ below ground. In front of the building there is a circle of stones to mark the spot where the last public hanging in Dalkeith occurred in 1827. Other notable buildings include a Watch Tower at the cemetery, a water tower and early 19th century iron mills. There is a modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house on Newbattle Road. Robert Aitken, bible publisher Sir John Anderson, Home Secretary 1939–1940, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1943–1945 Edmund Thornton Crawford, artist Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, politician Fish, singer with Marillion Darren Fletcher footballer with Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City John Kay, artist Robert Macpherson, photographer David Mushet, pioneer of iron production Bob Pringle professional golfer Bobby Smith, footballer with Hibernian and Leicester City Robert Smith, American architect James Stagg, meteorologist Peter Guthrie Tait, mathematical physicist Until 2008, Dalkeith was on the A68, one of the main routes south from Edinburgh to Jedburgh and across the border to Darlington.
A bypass to take traffic away from the town centre was completed in September, 2008. Other main roads serving Dalkeith are: A6094 — leads SW towards Bonnyrigg and Peebles, NE towards Musselburgh A768 — leads west from Eskbank to Lasswade and Loanhead B6373 — a road wholly within Dalkeith and rejoining the A6106 B6414 — leaves the A6094 on the NE edge of Dalkeith and leads NE to Tranent B6392 — runs north–south through Eskbank, used to be the route of the A7 which leads from Edinburgh to Galashiels and Hawick B703 — leads
Haddington, East Lothian
The Royal Burgh of Haddington is a town in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the main administrative and geographical centre for East Lothian, which as a result of late-nineteenth century Scottish local government reforms took the form of the county of Haddingtonshire for the period from 1889-1921, it lies about 17 miles east of Edinburgh. The name Haddington is Anglo-Saxon, dating from the sixth or seventh century AD when the area was incorporated into the kingdom of Bernicia; the town, like the rest of the Lothian region, was ceded by King Edgar of England and became part of Scotland in the tenth century. Haddington received burghal status, one of the earliest to do so, during the reign of David I, giving it trading rights which encouraged its growth into a market town. Today Haddington is a small town with a population of fewer than 10,000 people. In the middle of the town is the Town House, built in 1748 according to a plan by William Adam; when first built, it inheld a council chamber and sheriff court, to which assembly rooms were added in 1788, a new clock in 1835.
Nearby is the County Courthouse. Other nearby notable sites include the Jane Welsh Carlyle House, Mitchell's Close and the birthplace of author and government reformer Samuel Smiles on the High Street, marked by a commemorative plaque. Haddington is located predominantly on the north-east bank of the River Tyne, was once famous for its mills, it developed into the fourth-largest town in Scotland during the High Middle Ages, latterly was at the centre of the mid-eighteenth century Scottish Agricultural Revolution. In 1641, an Act was passed by the Parliament of Scotland to encourage the production of fine cloth, in 1645 an amendment went through stating that the masters and workers of manufactories would be exempt from military service; as a result of this, more factories were established. This factory suffered during the Civil War with the loss of its cloth to General Monck. A new charter was drawn up in May 1681, major capital invested in new machinery, but the New Mills had mixed fortunes affected by the lack of protectionism for Scottish manufactured cloth.
The Scots Courant reported in 1712 that New Mills was to be "rouped". The property was sold on the machinery and plant on 20 March; the lands of New Mills were purchased by Colonel Francis Charteris and he changed their name to Amisfield. As the county town of East Lothian, Haddington is the seat of East Lothian Council with offices located at John Muir House behind Court Street; this building occupies the site of Haddington's twelfth century royal palace and adjoins the former Sheriff Court complex. The town centre is home to a wide range of independent retailers including a bookshop, two sports shops, a saddlery and country goods specialist, two butchers, a hardware shop, cookware shop and several gift shops alongside several pubs and coffee shops. National retailers with a presence in Haddington include Tesco, M&Co, Aldi and Co-op Food. Besides retail and administration, the town is home to various lawyers' firms and has industrial capacity in the works beside the Tyne at the Victoria Bridge, around the site of the old station, various smaller industrial units and garages.
Haddington is home to the offices of the local newspaper the East Lothian Courier. There is a farmers' market held on the last Saturday of the month in Court Street; the town centre retains its historic street plan with Court Street, High Street, Market Street and Hardgate defining the edges of the original open triangular medieval market place, divided by a central island of buildings developed from the 16th century onwards on the site of market stalls. To the north and south the medieval rigg pattern of burgage plots can still be observed with narrow buildings fronting the main streets and long plots behind stretching back to the line of the old town walls, accessed by small closes and pends; the historic importance of the town's unaltered medieval plan and significant survival of historic buildings was recognised as early as the 1950s, with Haddington subject to an Improvement Scheme, Scotland's earliest, which saw many period properties rehabilitated by the Town Council and a pioneering town colour scheme developed, resulting in the distinctive and colourful townscape seen today.
Some comprehensive redevelopment did occur, chiefly around Newton Port and Hardgate to allow for widening of these narrow streets to improve motor traffic flow. This included the demolition of Bothwell Castle and its dovecote in 1955, the land now forming part of Hardgate Park. Today the whole town centre is a conservation area with a high proportion of listed buildings, some dating back to the C16th, the redevelopment and infill schemes undertaken since the 1950s have been in a sympathetic vernacular style which has maintained the town's historic character. Amisfield House was located east of Haddington, south of the River Tyne. Designed by architect Isaac Ware and built of Garvald red freestone for Colonel Francis Charteris, it was described in The Buildings of Scotland as "the most important building of the orthodox Palladian school in Scotland." John Henderson built the walled garden in 1783, the castellated stable block in 1785. The park in front of the house landscaped by James Bowie, is today ploughed.
A victim of dry rot, the house was demolished in 1928. All that remains of Amisfield today are the summer house, walled
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat
The Lammermuirs are a range of hills in southern Scotland, forming a natural boundary between Lothian and the Borders. It could be that the name means "lambs' moor". and is derived from the Old English words lambra and mor. It could be the case that the name is Gaelic, derived from lann barra mor, meaning "level spot on the big height". Early forms include Lombormore, Lambremore and Lambirmor. Spanning the counties of Selkirk, East Lothian, Berwick, the Lammermuirs extend from the Gala Water to St Abb's Head, offer a traditional site for sheep grazing; the hills are nowhere high, the highest points being Meikle Says Law at 535 m and the Lammer Law at 528 m. The hills are crossed by only one major road, which crosses the shoulder of Soutra Hill between Lauder and Pathhead, is closed by snow in winter; the main road linking Edinburgh to England avoids the hills by following a circuitous route around the coast. White Castle was an Iron Age hill fort, settled by the ancestors of the Votadini tribe.
Crystal Rig Wind Farm is located on the hills. The Northumbrian missionary bishop Cuthbert spent his early years as a shepherd on the Lammermuir Hills. Sir Walter Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor and Donizetti's derivative Lucia di Lammermoor is set here. Scott lived near Galashiels. Two ranges of hills in New Zealand, the Lammermoors and Lammerlaws are named after the Scottish hills. List of places in East Lothian List of places in the Scottish Borders Marilyns in the area List of places in Scotland Guide to walking in the Lammermuir Hills Anti-windfarm Group
Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth is the estuary of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Lothian on the south, it was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu". Geologically, the Firth of Forth is a fjord, formed by the Forth Glacier in the last glacial period; the drainage basin for the Firth of Forth covers a wide geographic area including places as far from the shore as Ben Lomond, Harthill and the edges of Gleneagles Golf Course. Many towns line the shores, as well as the petrochemical complexes at Grangemouth, commercial docks at Leith, former oil rig construction yards at Methil, the ship-breaking facility at Inverkeithing and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, along with numerous other industrial areas, including the Forth Bridgehead area, encompassing Rosyth and the southern edge of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Bo'ness and Leven; the firth is bridged in two places. The Kincardine Bridge and the Clackmannanshire Bridge cross it at Kincardine, while the Forth Bridge, the Forth Road Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing cross from North Queensferry to South Queensferry, further east.
The Romans made a bridge of around 900 boats at South Queensferry. From 1964 to 1982, a tunnel existed under the Firth of Forth, dug by coal miners to link the Kinneil colliery on the south side of the Forth with the Valleyfield colliery on the north side; this is shown in the 1968 educational film "Forth - Powerhouse for Industry". The shafts leading into the tunnel were filled and capped with concrete when the tunnel was closed, it is believed to have filled with water or collapsed in places. In July, 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two-week trial between Portobello and Kirkcaldy, Fife; the trial of the service was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85 percent. It was estimated the service would decrease congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 870,000 passengers each year. Despite the initial success, the project was cancelled in December, 2011; the inner firth, located between the Kincardine and Forth bridges, has lost about half of its former intertidal area as a result of land reclamation for agriculture, but for industry and the large ash lagoons built to deposit spoil from the coal-fired Longannet Power Station near Kincardine.
Historic villages line the Fife shoreline. The firth is a Site of Special Scientific Interest; the Firth of Forth Islands SPA is home to more than 90,000 breeding seabirds every year. There is a bird observatory on the Isle of May; the youngest person to swim across the Firth of Forth was 13-year-old Joseph Feeney, who accomplished the feat in 1933. In 2008, a controversial bid to allow oil transfer between ships in the firth was refused by Forth Ports. SPT Marine Services had asked permission to transfer 7.8 million tonnes of crude oil per year between tankers, but the proposals were met with determined opposition from conservation groups. Bass Rock Craigleith Cramond Eyebroughy Fidra Inchcolm Inchgarvie Inchkeith Inchmickery with Cow and Calf The Lamb Isle of May lowest bridging point: Stirling North shore South shore Isle of May bird observatory Forthfast experimental hovercraft service, 16–28 July 2007 Inchcolm Virtual Tour Take a virtual tour around some of the Inchcolm's military defences