River Forth

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Image:Fm river forth.jpg
The River Forth meanders over fertile farmlands near Stirling

The River Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Abhainn Dhubh, meaning "black river"), 47 km (29 miles) long, is the major river draining the eastern part of the central belt of Scotland.

The Forth rises in Loch Ard in The Trossachs, a mountain range some 30 km (19 miles) west of Stirling. It flows roughly eastward, through Aberfoyle, joining with the Duchray Water and Kelty Water, and out over the flat expanse of the Flanders Moss. It is then joined by the River Teith (which itself drains Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Katrine, and Loch Voil) and the River Allan, before meandering through the ancient city of Stirling. At Stirling the river widens and becomes tidal, and it is here that the last (seasonal) ford of the river exists. From Stirling, the Forth flows east over the Carse of Stirling and past the towns of Alloa and Airth. Upon reaching Kincardine the river begins to widen into an estuary, the Firth of Forth.

Image:Meander1.jpg
Meandering viewed from the Wallace Monument. The river flows from right to left, and the former limit of navigation was in the left distance.

[edit] Navigation on the Forth

In medieval times the Forth was navigable at least as far as Stirling, but silting and the increase in ship sizes now mean that traffic upstream of Kincardine is rare.

[edit] Bridges over the Forth

Upstream of Stirling, the river is rather small and is crossed in numerous places (although prior to modern drainage works, the ground was often treacherously marshy near the riverbank). After its confluence with the Teith and Allan, the river is sufficiently wide that a significant bridge is required. A bridge has existed at Stirling since at least the 13th Century, and until the opening of the road crossing at Kincardine in 1936, Stirling remained the easternmost road crossing. Much further downstream (at Queensferry) the famous rail bridge opened in 1890 and a modern road bridge in 1964. A swinging railway bridge between Alloa on the north shore and Throsk on the south opened in 1885 and was closed (and largely demolished) in 1970.

[edit] See also

fr:Forth (fleuve) nl:Forth (rivier) no:Forth pl:Forth (rzeka) simple:River Forth

River Forth

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