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Between the Ochils and the Forth
North Queensferry and Inverkeithing


The Forth Bridge and its vicinity—Island of Inchgarvie— North Queensferry and its peninsula—Rosyth Castle— The town of Inverkeithing—Its history and objects of interest.

THE passage of the Firth of Forth at Queensferry, already well known, is likely, ere long, to attain a much greater and more diffused celebrity in connection with the wonderful railway bridge now in process of construction at this point across the estuary. It may be premature, as yet, to speculate either on the results of this undertaking when completed, or the general appearance which the structure will present in connecting the shore of the Lothians with that of Fife; but there seems little reason to doubt that it will display one of the most extraordinary and stupendous monuments ever achieved by human ingenuity and industry. Concentrating, as it does, the application of so much skill, energy, and perseverance, there appears little risk in predicting that it is destined to figure as one of the wonders of the world.

In the following work—which is intended to serve as a pictorial and historical delineation of, as well as a practical guide to, the districts lying along the north shore of the Forth between North Queensferry and String, and inland as far as the Ochils—any extended description of an uncompleted structure like the Forth Bridge will doubtless scarcely be expected. Yet, as it is destined to form in future one of the main accesses to this region, and even now looms forth to the eye of the traveller as a gigantic skeleton, it may not be deemed inexpedient that, in conducting my reader to the Fife shore, I should present him with a slight sketch of the history of the vast structure which, in all its interesting though unfinished details, must present itself so markedly to hmi as he steams across to North Queensferry from Port Edgar.

The adventurous spirit of engineering science which had been called forth so prominently in the achievements of Biindley and Smeaton in the second half of the last, and of Telford :n the early part of the present century, had initiated a career of triumphs over natural difficulties and obstructions which exhibited, as the first-fruits of its energy, the Bridgewater Canal, the Eddystone Lighthouse, and the bridge over the Menai Straits. James Watt m developing the powers of the steam-engine, and the elder Stephenson in applying these to locomotives on railways, had effected a still mightier stride in this direction; whilst the younger Stephenson and the two Brunels, father and son, also contributed no less effectual aid. It was an age for mighty schemes—some of them, doubtless, more or less chimerical, but all, in their very extravagance, bearing evidence of the adventurous spirit that was abroad. It was the same spirit of adventure— now employed in more prosaic and practical undertakings— which in former times had animated British explorers and navigators in discovering new lands and forming new settlements in distant regions of the globe.

The breadth of the channel between North and South Queensferry is, roundly stated, about a mile and a half, and the island of Inchgarvie is situated nearly midway between these places. In consequence of the great narrowing of the Forth at this point—to less than a half of its breadth between Culross and Borrowstounness—it is to be expected that the current in the main channel of the estuary will both be much stronger and flow in a much deeper bed than is to be found at any point above or below. There is, accordingly, on the north side of the island of Inchgarvie, an exceedingly deep channel, which reaches a depth of at least 210 feet, or 35 fathoms, with a breadth of about r6oo feet. On the south side of the island there is a depth of 180 feet, or 30 fathoms, which, however, diminishes considerably as we proceed to South Queensferry. Between the island and the North Ferry, the same great depth of water almost uniformly continues—a depth which is greater than in almost any other part of the Forth, and even than in many places of the German Ocean.

With such a vast distance to be spanned between Inchgarvie and the Fife shore, it will readily be conceived that the idea of connecting the Queensferries presents, at first sight, the appearance of being roo chimerical to be entertained. In the earlier years of the present century, however, the project had been mooted of effecting this purpose by a suspension-bridge of two spans, the middle support of which should be on the island of Inchgarvie. It was abandoned as an impossible scheme; as was also another idea which, some jears previously, had been broached — that of constructing a tunnel beneath the bed of the Forth. Years passed on, and for a long time Queensferry seemed not only destined to be undistinguished as a theatre of mechanical and scientific ingenuity, but likewise fated to remain less in accord with the spirit of the age than other places in Great Britain. The great railway lines of communication between the north and the south of Scotland, instead of having their traffic carried across the Forth at this point—the natural and most convenient passage—were transferred to the stormy, and occasionally impassable, ferry between Granton and Burntisland; and the direct route to the north, by Dunfermline and Kinross, was abandoned for the circuitous one by Lady-bank Junction, through the eastern district of Fife. It is only within the last few years that Dunfermline and Edinburgh have become directly connected by railway.

About twenty years ago the project was again started of constructing a bridge across the Forth; and to obviate the difficulties presented by the depth of the channel and strength of the current between Inchgarvie and North Queensferry, it was resolved to erect it at a point higher up- -nearly between the castles of Rosyth and Blackness —where the general breadth of the estuary is certainly much greater, but the depth as well as strength of current of the "fairway," or principal channel, is much less. Monetary rather than physical considerations led to this scheme being abandoned after some eloquent expositions and panegyrics on the subject had been made in the public journals.

The apparently successful completion of the railway bridge across the Tay seems to have revived the idea of a similar one across the Forth ; and accordingly, the preparing of a design of this description was intrusted to Sir Thomas Bouch, the engineer of the Tay Bridge. This commission he fulfilled by devising for the passage

of the Forth at Queensferry a railway suspension-bridge, of which the middle pier or piers were to reach the height of 596 feet, and those at the extremities 5S4. To guard against any extraordinary pressure of winds and tempests, a resistance was provided to a pressure of 10 lb. on the square foot, and this was supposed to form a sufficiently ample security for any emergency. The anticipation thus entertained, however, was rudely dissipated by the terrible disaster which befell the Tay Bridge on the evening of Sunday, 28th of December 1879. The overthrow of the structure, and of a railway train passing over it, with an accompanying loss of human life, demonstrated the necessity of a more effectual provision being made against unwonted tempests and cataclysms than had previously been deemed necessary. Sir Thomas himself did not long survive the overthrow of his work, and the whole of the circumstances connected with it led to the conviction that the Forth Bridge, if it were to be proceeded with at all, must be constructed on entirely different lines, and with much more effectual safeguards. Another scheme was accordingly set on foot, and the present structure, which now seems calculated to obviate all chances of a similar catastrophe, is the result.

The designs for this work were prepared by Mr John Fowler and Mr B. Baker, civil engineers, and approved of by the Board of Trade on 9th December 1881. The contractors for the work are Sir Thomas Tancred, C.E., London, and Messrs W. Arrol & Co., Dalmarnock Ironworks, Glasgow. The cost was fixed at ^1,600,000, and the work was originally expected to be concluded by the end of 1887.

The present bridge is a girder-bridge, and comprises two long spans of 1700 feet each, over the deep channels lying respectively on the north and south sides of the island of Inchgarvie. There are also two subsidiary spans of 675 feet each—one on the north and the other on the south side of the two great spans; whilst a series of piers, with openings between each of 150 feet, commencing at the Ferry Ilill on the north, and ending at the top of the Ha's Brae on the south shore, complete the structure.

In spanning the deep channels on either side of Inchgarvie, a system ot " cantilevers " or projecting supports has been employed. These are three in number— one 011 the island itself, and one on the north and south side respectively. Each cantilever rests on four cylindrical pieces of masonry, which again repose on a bed of concrete, which has been deposited in an excavation made in the solid rock or hard boulder-clay. Each holds forth an arm, 650 feet in length, from the right and left respectively of the centre; and each cantilever rises to a height of 350 feet above its supporting piers. A series of hori.zontal girders are carried between the cantilevers and the shores of the Forth on the viaduct piers to the north and south. These girders were placed on the top of the viaduct piers, whilst the latter had only an elevation of 20 feet above low-water mark, and have been gradually raised as the stonework beneath is built up to the further height of 130 feet. Each of the viaduct piers will thus have a total height above low-water of 150 feet. Besides a massive abutment at each shore, and the three cantilevers, each resting on its group of four piers, there are sixteen viaduct piers—six on the north and ten on the south side of the island of Inchgarvie. In these sixteen piers are included two great subsidiary cantilever piers—one on the north side on land, and the other on the south side in shallow water—each of which forms the junction respectively of the north and south cantilevers with the viaduct.

Since its commencement the work has been carried on both day and night by the aid of relays of labourers; and to enable this to be accomplished with greater facility, the electric light has been employed for illuminating both the workshops at South Queensferry and the works on the bridge itself. The number of workmen employed is upwards of 1000, and the cost of the plant is roughly estimated at £100,000.

The Forth Bridge is upwards of a mile in length, and as regards that of the two great spans (about a third of a mile for each), is four times the size of any bridge hitherto constructed. There are four classes of materials employed—steel, granite, whinstone, and Portland cement. With regard to the first of them, special considerations of durability and resistance to pressure have led to its employment instead of that of cast-iron, which formed the leading material in Sir Thomas Bouch's design. The superstructure of the bridge, including the girders, cantilevers, and struts, are entirely composed of wrought-steel, which has also been manufactured and adjusted at the workshops on the spot. It is estimated that 50,000 tons of steel will have been used in the course of the operations. The under side of the girders at the cantilever piers is arched, and their depth will amount to 340 feet at the piers, gradually diminishing towards the centre, where it is about 50 feet. This minimum depth of 50 feet is continued for about a length of 500 feet; so that, in the centre of the two great spans, there is a clear elevation of 150 feet above high-water level—thus enabling the loftiest three-master to pass beneath without striking. The resistance of the whole structure, though loaded with a couple of trains weighing 900 tons each, is calculated to withstand a pressure of 56 lb. to the square foot—an enormous amount, and nearly six times greater than that which Sir Thomas Bouch deemed it necessary to provide against in his design of the Forth Bridge.

The journey by railway from Edinburgh to South Queensferry, by Ratho and Kirkliston, is pleasant enough, but is both much more circuitous and much less beaut ful than that by road over the Dean and Cramond Bridges, and down the Ha's Brae. The route between Edinburgh and Cramond Brig has been characterised as about the finest bit of turnpike road in the three kingdoms, whilst the view of the Forth and its shores above and below Queensferry is one of the grandest prospects that can anywhere be obtained. To some extent, indeed, this can still be enjoyed from the train between the stations of South Queensferry and the steamboat pier at Port Edgar; but it falls much short of the coup (Peril that presents itself to the traveller by coach, as he descends the hill to the inn at Newhalls—better known by its time-honoured appellation of the "Ha's," as immortalised in the opening chapters of 'The Antiquary.' It is shorn indeed, now, of much of the importance which it enjoyed as the halting-place, in the coaching days, for travellers between the south and north; but it nevertheless continues to remain, both through its proximity to the Forth Bridge and as a pleasant resort of excursionists from Edinburgh, a very comfortable and well-patronised hostelry.

The view in descending the Ha's Brae takes in the whole estuary of the Forth, from Grangemouth and Kincardine to Inchkeith. At the upper extremity to the west the picture is bounded by the Kilsyth and Campsie hills, with the low grounds of the carses of Falkirk and Stirling lying between them and the Forth. Farther round to the north-west appears the mighty Ben Lomond, with his group of attendant hills; whilst the horizon on the north is bordered from earth to sky by the beautiful and picturesque chain of the Ochils, extending in varied and verdant beauty from the neighbourhood of Stirling to that of Kinross and the lower shores of the Tay. Between them and the Forth, to the north-west of the spectator, stretches a beautifully undulating country, which in many places, and more especially adjoining the water, will vie in richness with the most finely cultivated districts in England. The wooded braes of Culross Bay arc easily discernible in clear weather, and nearer at hand appears the regal town of Dunfermline, with its towers and steeples covering the southern side of a sunny slope. The square grey tower of Rosyth on its penuisula is seen close to the water's edge; and below t is the Ferry Hill, projecting into and greatly narrowing the Firth of Forth, with the village of North Queensferry reposing at the foot of the rocky eminence. The great pool or roadstead above the Ferry, with St Margaret's Hope at its north-east extremity—so well known as the haven of distressed mariners—widens out placidly on the left, almost like a landlocked lake, on the southern shore of which appear in succession the Kinncil Ironworks, the busy and thriving if not particularly attractive town of Borrowstounness, the picturesque village of Carriden, the castle of Blackness, and the beautifully wooded grounds of Hopetoun. Then close at hand is the burgh of South Queensferry, whilst midway between it and its sister on the north shore is the island of Inchgarvie —once indeed, with its fortalice, a picturesque-looking rock, but now almost completely obscured and buried underneath the works of the Forth Bridge, which form a prominent object immediately below the spectator, on the right. Away down in the same direction are, on the southern shore, the finely wooded grounds of Dalmeny Park and Barnbougle; and on the north, the entrance to Inverkeitlnng harbour, with the picturesque domain of Donibristle extending beyond and eastwards down the Firth. Here, too. directly opposite to the last-mentioned place, and nestling in a nook of the estuary, is the far-famed island of Inchcolm, with its ecclesiastical traditions, and its quaint-looking grey tower rising up from its rocks and old conventual buildings. Beyond extends the ever-expanding bosom of the Firth, with Inchkeith in the middle and the Fife and Lothian shores on either hand. Altogether, from this coign of vantage, the traveller may here contemplate, n a general view, a great part of the district to which he will shortly be introduced in greater detail.

In crossing the Firth from Port Edgar to North Queensferry, the attention of the traveller will naturally be attracted both to the buildings of the Forth Bridge, wh;ch he sees on his right, and also to the little rocky islet of Inchgarvie, which is situated in mid-channel, and has been largely utilised, both as a resting-place for the great centre cantilever, and also for a suite of offices and workshops in connection with the structure. So great a change has been effected here as completely to have metamorphosed the island, which, with .ts little fortress perched on it, seemed in former days to rise like a Patmos in the m»dst of the waters. It now resounds with the din and turmoil of act.ve labour; whilst the whole place, covered as t is with erections and appliances of various kinds, seems to be consigned to the fate generally meted out to all natural objects that either stand in the way of, or can be ut Used for, the requirements of practical science. Hardly now would the Malva arborea vtarina, which, as Sir Robert Sibbald informs us, used formerly to have its special habitat on Inchgarvie, be found in the recesses of its rocks. The plant, in fact, has for a long time disappeared from the island; and it is related that Dr Graham, the predecessor of the late Dr Balfour in the Botanical Chair in the Edinburgh University, made an expedition here on one occasion with the express object of securing a specimen. He procured a boat, landed on the island, and, to his utter dismay, discovered a goat in the act of munching the very last plant that still remained!

The earliest notice we have of Inchgarvie is contained in a charter granted by James IV. in 1491 to John Dundas of that Ilk, in which, under consideration of the great damage done to the shores of Scottish estuaries by marauding bands of pirates from England and other countries, his Majesty grants to the Laird of Dundas, in property, the island of Inchgarvie, with the power of erecting thereon such fortifications as might appear necessary for the purpose of defending the coasts of the Forth at the strait of the Queensfeny. A fortress of some kind, in consequence of this warrant, seems to have been erected, as, more than half a century afterwards, we find its capture recorded by the Earl of Hertford, during his expedition into Scotland in 1544.

There is, or was till recently, at the west extremity of Inchgarvie, an ancient fort or redoubt, which may have formed part of the buildings erected by the Laird of Dundas in the end of the fifteenth century, and taken by the English fleet during Hertford's expedition in 1544. During the preparations against Cromwell's invasion in 1650—preparations destined to prove so nugatory—the Scottish Parliament issued orders on 21st June for the fortification and victualling of Inchgarvie, " and that 20 musketers and a commander be put therin, that the Provest of Edinburghe furnishe the said garrison with coles out of Duik Hamilton's coleheughe, and he to be payed for them."

1 do not know whether it was in connection with the above order of the Scottish Parliament for fortifying Inchgarvie, or its occupation at a subsequent period by the troops of Cromwell, that we find the royal burgh of Culross much exercised by a requisition made 011 it for a supply of bedding for the use of the garrison. More likely .t was on account of the latter's army that it had to make this contribution, as recorded >n the Town Council minutes. A similar requisition to apparently a much greater extent was made about the same time on the people of Culross, to furnish feather-beds, blankets, and other appliances to a detachment of the Protector's soldiers who had been sent to occupy the fortress of Castle Campbell at Dollar. The fortification which crowns the summit and eastern extremity of Inchgarvie is probably of ancient origin, but assumed its present appearance and dimensions in consequence of the build-mgs erected here at the time of Paul Jones's expedition, and also subsequently in the beginning of the present century, when it was fitted up and remodelled as one of the defences of the Forth.

The railway piers on each side of the Forth are situated a little farther up than those which were used in the coaching days, and the passage across is effected by the steamers in little over ten minutes. The whole journey by train from Edinburgh to Dunfermline occupies about an hour and a half, and were the route by the direct line of the old coach-road, the distance might almost be traversed in an hour. The railway from the north pier s carried by tunnel through the Ferry Hill, then turns eastwards by Inverkeithing, where there is a station, and after that in a north westerly direction, without any stoppage, to Comely Park Station, Dunfermline. Shortly after leaving Inverkeithing it crosses the field of the celebrated battle which bears that name, in the valley which lies to the north of Castlelandhill, and to the south of Pitreavie House. An account will be found subsequently of the town of Dunfermline and adjoining district.

North Queensferry {Hotel: Albert is a pleasant and picturesque-looking village, lying at the foot of the Ferry Hill, where the latter terminates its long projection into the Forth, and thus causes a narrowing of the estuary. It is six miles from Dunfermline by road, and is much resorted to by visitors in the summer-time. On the hill behind, Cromwell's troops were encamped in 1651, when they were conveyed across the Forth previous to the battle of Inverkeithing. The promontory at its north-east extremity is termed "Cruickness," and forms the southwest corner of Inverkeithing harbour. Between this and North Queensferry is a pleasant walk, leading along the little lonely recess of Port Laing, whose silver sands and clear waters afford excellent opportunity for sea-bathing. The locality at Cruickness is also known by the name of the " Lazaretto," from its having been at one time a quarantine station, which, however, ceased to be used as such nearly sixty years ago, and the buildings in connection with it were sold. A curious circumstance in relation to this neighbourhood is, that it used formerly to be infested with adders, which are still occasionally to be met with about Port Laing, though their number is now greatly diminished. I believe these reptiles are still to be found in Moss Morran, near Crossgates, to the east of Dunfermline, and possibly also in one or two other places of a similar description; but generally speaking, they are quite unknown in the cultivated districts on the shores of the Forth.

The village of North Queensferry, with the district lying immediately behind it, belongs civilly to the parish of Dunfermline; and a former minister of that town, who used to rusticate every summer for six weeks at the pleasant little waterng-place, used to boast that he enjoyed this sojourn within the limits of his own parish. The island of Inchgarvie, however, and the rock called Bimar, are in the parish of Inverkeithing. The superior of the ground at Queensferry is the Marquis of Tweed-dale, as representative of the Earls of Dunfermline, the ancient lords of the regality, and from him the village is feued. It must at all times have been, from its situation, a ferry station; but the earliest historical notice that we have regarding it is in connection with Queen Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling, and wife of Malcolm Canmore. Along with her mother and sisters and brother, she had been driven by stress of weather into the Firth of Forth, on the occasion of their flight from England and the power of "William the Conqueror. Their vessel came to anchor in the little bay at the north-west corner of the Ferry Hill, which has derived, along with the adjoining roadstead, the appellation of St Margaret's Hope, whilst the passage itself has been denominated " the Queen's ferry." Buchanan terms it Margarita Portus. The Ferry was formerly under the custody of the Abbots of Dunfermline, who were entitled to every fourth penny of passage-money, on the understanding of then- maintaining a supply of boats; and over and above this, they were entitled to every fortieth penny, as an impost leviable by them for the erection and repair of the choir of Dunfermline Abbey. After the Reformation the management passed into the hands of the neighbouring proprietors, such as Henderson of Fordel, Stewart of Rosyth, Dundas of Dundas, and others. But it was ultimately, and has been for many years, under the direction of a board of parliamentary trustees. It used to be said that the currents at Queensferry were so peculiar that none but boatmen who had been accustomed to them from boyhood could be intrusted with their navigation. An unpleasant demonstration of this was experienced in the beginning of the present century by the Ferry trustees, when they dismissed the old boatmen, but were obliged to reinstate them in consequence of the impossibility of finding others competent to supply their places.

Besides Inchgarvie, but nearer to the shore, there are in connection with North Queensferry the singular rock of Bimar, on which a stone pillar or beacon is stationed; the rocks known as the Long Craig, opposite Craig Dhu House; and those of Craigmarmor, in St Margaret's Hope. A bank indeed, or reef of rocks, runs the whole way up the north shore of the Firth from Long Craig Island, crossing Culross Bay in the Craigmore and Craigengarth rocks, and terminating at Longannet Point, about a mile below Kincardine-on-Forth. The space between this line and the shore is, for the most part, nearly dry at low water.

The north abutment of the Forth Bridge rests at a point at the south-east extremity of the village, which is generally known as "The Battery," and so called from the fortifications which were erected here at the time when Paul Jones's manoeuvres were alarming the denizens of Fife and the Lothians. There is also a pier here, employed in certain states of the tide for the transit of goods and passengers to the opposite shore. Immediately adjoining, and inland, are extensive whinstone quarries, for which the Ferry Hill has long been famous. Pennant, in his tour through Scotland more than a hundred years ago, speaks of the "granite" quarries at Queensferry, and the immense export from them to London and other places of paving-stones. The most important of these quarries, however, is situated on the road to Dunfermline, close to the old Ferry toll-house. The blocks which are wrought and squared here are celebrated over the length and breadth of the United Kingdom for their admirable qualities as paving-stones, and their form an extensive article of export. They have been largely used also in the construction of the Forth Bridge.

The only monument of antiquity of whidq the village can boast s the gable of an ancient chapel, with its little burying-ground, which is completely surrounded with houses, and almost totally concealed from ordinary observation. Few, indeed, are aware of its existence beyond those living in the immediate neighbourhood. This chapel was originally founded by Robert the Bruce, and attached by him as au appanage to the Abbey of Dunfermline. It was destroyed by Cromwell's troops in 1651.

The old road from North Queensferry to Dunfermline led right over the h;il from behind the village, and for those who like a grand view and do not object to a stiff climb, :t has many recommendations. But it is quite impracticable for carriages, or at least these would accomplish the journey much faster by taking the ordinary turnpike road round the west shoulder of the Ferry Hill, and then at the old toll-house turning eastwards to Inverkeithing, the distance of which from the Ferry is about two miles. The inner recess of St Margaret's Hope, along which the road passes, seems in ancient times to have served both as a harbour and point of departure for the opposite side; and there is every probability that it was here the unfortunate Queen Mary crossed the Forth, after her escape from Loch Leven, on her way to Lord Seton's castle of Niddry, in West Lothian. Here, too, the vessel containing Edgar Atheling and his sister Margaret, must have anchored when a tempest drove them mto the Forth; and here they were visited by King Malcolm Canmore, who shortly afterwards conducted Margaret to Dunfermline as his bride. Probably this recess, so sheltered and convenient, is the original and real Queensferry.

Looking westwards from this point up the Firth, the eye rests on the square tower of Rosyth Castle, on its peninsula projecting into the sea, about a mile distant. The early history of this building, like that of many of these old castles, cannot be ascertained; but along with the adjoining lands and barony of Rosyth, it belonged till about the end of the seventeenth century to a family of the name of Stewart, which traced its descent lineally from James Stewart of Durisdeer, in Dumfriesshire, brother of Walter Stewart, son-in-law to King Robert the Bruce, and father of Robert II. It subsequently passed for a time into the hands of the Earl of Rosebery, and afterwards was purchased by the Earl of Hopetoun, in the possession of whose descendant it still remains. The original purchaser of the barony seems to have been Sir David Stewart of Durisdeer, who afterwards took his designation from Rosyth, and was the patron and friend of Walter Bowmaker or Bower, Abbot of Inchcolm in the fifteenth century, and author of the continuation of Fordun's History or ' Scotichronicon.' The Stewarts of Rosyth seem always to have been ardent Royalists, and to have borne no goodwill to the Presbyterian cause. A complaint is recorded in the ' Book of the Universal Kirk of Scotland,' under the year 1577, as made by the Rev. David Ferguson, the well-known minister of Dunfermline, against the young Laird of Rosyth, that, contrary to the law, he had caused his father or other predecessor to be interred within the church of Dunfermline. In the middle of the next century we find the then proprietor suffering severely for his Royalist proclivities by imprisonment, and an order issued to have his woods of "Hnirschaw" cut down to repair the habitations in the parishes of Muckhart and Dollar, which had been destroyed by Montrose's soldiers on the march through to Kilysth.

Rosyth Castle is entirely in ruins, and consists of a broad square tower of three storeys and battlements. It contains on the first floor a handsome and ample hall, having on the east and west sides respectively two large windows fitted with elegant cross muliions of much more recent construction than the rest of the building, inasmuch as they have marked on them "F.S." and " M.N.," with the date 1639. On the left-hand side of the entrance to the tower is a stone on which the following inscription might at one time be read:—

"in dew tym draw this cord the pei, to clink,
qvhais mf.ry voce varnis to meat and drink."

The words are now almost illegible, but I can testify to their having been many years ago more easy to decipher. Outside of the tower to the south and west arc the remains of other btn'Mings which have formed part of the castle. Over the gateway entering from the north is a mouldered coat-of-arms surmounted by a crown, with the letters and date "M.R. 1561." It is quite possible that these were put up on the occasion of a visit paid by Queen Mary to the Stewarts of Rosyth, who were members of her own family.

The castle stands on a green knoll pro'ecting into the sea, and almost directly opposite to it on the shore is an ancient pigeon-house, with a vaulted roof evidently coeval with the castle, and reminding one of what is frequently quoted as a characteristic of a Fife laird: "A wee pickle rent, a gey pickle debt, and a doocot."

The " Loanhead of Rosyth "—that is to say, the junction of the Ferry road with the lane leading down to the castle—is said to have been the scene of the murder in 1530 of Sir James Inglis, Abbot of Culross, by John Blackadder, Laird of Tulliallan. The latter had conceived a grudge against Inglis for granting a lease of some lands over his head to one of the Erskines of Balgownie; and he consequently, with some retainers, lay in wait for the abbot, attacked and slew him. He was condemned and beheaded for the crime in Edinburgh shortly afterwards, as was also one of the monks of Culross, who had been concerned with him in the atrocity.

Turning away now from the prospect of Rosyth Castle, we shall continue along the highroad, and keeping the railway, which has just emerged from the Ferry Hill tunnel, on our right, and also skirting on the same side the shore of Inverkeithing Bay or harbour, we shall arrive after a walk of about a mile at the ancient burgh of that name.

Inverkeithing {Hotel: The Royal) is one of that group of little burgh towns which stud the north shore of the Forth from Crail to Culross, and exhibit for the most part unequivocal traces of having decayed from the grandeur and importance which they enjoyed as the emporia of trade and commerce previous to the union of the kingdoms. One or two of them, such as Kirkcaldy and Burntisland, have kept pace with the general prosperity of the country; but with the most of them the days of their glory are gone, never to return. There are still hopes, however, for Inverkeithing, partly from the improvement which the completion of the Forth Bridge may bring about, partly from the possible revival of one or two trades, such as shipbuilding and iron-founding, which till recently were conducted with considerable success ,n this place. At present the only works in full operation are a ropework, a brickfield, a tannery, and a sawmill. The Borland distillery—a depressing-looking ruin — stands on the banks of the Keithmg, and a similar impress on is made by the appearance of the more recently closed foundry and shipbuilding-yard.

The town of Inverkeithing has rather a quaint and picturesque aspect when] approached from the cast; but on entering it from the direction either of Queensferry or Dunfermiine, the traveller is not likely to be greatly attracted by its appearance. It occupies a sort of terrace on a rising ground sloping down to the sea, and consists mainly of one broad street, having a sort of parallelogram or square in the centre, with a steep descent at the east or older end of the town, leading down near the church by the tolbooth and municipal buildings to the bridge over the Keithing and the road to Aberdour. The stream just named is of no importance, and, as the appellation of the town denotes, falls here into Inverkeithing Bay, which, landlocked as it is, with a narrow entrance between two projecting points, would form one of the finest natural harbours in the world had it a sufficiency of depth of water. But at ebb-tide it <s left almost entirely dry.

Inverkeithing in the ancient days of the Scottish monarchy was a place of great importance. It obtained a charter in the end of the twelfth century from William the Lion, erecting, or rather confirming a previous charter of erection of the town into a royal burgh.

A subsequent charter of confirmation was granted by James VI. in 1598. The Exchequer Rolls testify to its importance as a commercial emporium, and the customs levied at the port of Inverkeithing formed a valuable item in the revenues of the Scottish Crown. It seems also to have been a favourite port of embarkation and transit, and on one occasion we find the burgh authorities reimbursed by the Exchequer for the expenses to which they had been subjected by the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I. of Scotland, landing at and passing through the town in 1429. At another time a charge is entered among the expenses of the Crown for the outlay attending the transmission from Dunfermline to Stirling Castle via, Inverkeithing of the chemise or sark of St Margaret, as a guard to Mary of Gueldres, queen of James II., against any dangers which might be impending over her Majesty on the occasion of the birth of the Prince Royal, afterwards James III. The garment in question seems again to have been sent for at the birth of James V. It had evidently enjoyed an exalted reputation as a prophylactic in such emergencies, and was probably one of the most cherished treasures in the reliquary of Dunfermline.

The lands adjoining Inverkeithing, including Spencer-field, the Dales, &c., belonged formerly to the Moubrays of Barnbougle, who were afterwards succeeded in the latter estate by the Primrose or Rosebery family. The Hendersons of Fordel had also great influence ;n Inverkeithing, and acted as its provosts for several generations. Old houses are still shown in the town as the residences of the Fordel and Dalmeny families.

It is said that Annabella Drummond, queen of Robert III., died in Inverkeithing in 1403, and the mansion which she occupied on the south side of the great square is still pointed out and known as the "Palace " or "Rotmells Inns." Though within the town of Inverkeithing, it holds of the Crown alone, and is exempted from burgh services. Tl;e building is now divided into three tenements, in the westmost of which a room is shown in which Queen Annabella is said to have died. The ceilings of the basement storey are vaulted, and there seems to have been a passage, also vaulted, leading through from the street to the garden. In the latter, beneath a bleaching-green in the south-east corner, are three vaulted chambers, two of them entered by a descending flight of steps; and from one of them, which is entered by a pointed archway, and has a small arched window adjoining, an interior vault opens, though the entrance is almost choked up with rubbish. One of these vaults is said to have been a chapel, but they are all more likely to have been storehouses or cellars beneath either the Dominican or Franciscan monastery, both of which existed at Inverkeithing. The so-called chapel is spoken of as St Mary's Chapel, and above the vaults on the bleaching-green can be traced the remains of buildings, evidently those of the monastery.

The church of Inverkeithing is a modern building, an older edifice having been destroyed by fire in 1825; but the tower, which escaped that fate, is very ancient. At present, and for a long time past, an upper chamber in the tower, opening from the gallery of the church, has been used as a session - house; but this inconvenient arrangement is expected shortly to be remedied by the erection of another building on the south side of the church. Beside the pulpit stands an ancient stone font, one of the few specimens of the kind in Scotland which have come down from pre-Reformation times. It stood originally in the porch of the church, but was removed at the instance of the present minister, Mr Robertson, to the position which it now occupies. It is said to have been presented to the church of Inverkeithing by Queen Annabella, whose son, moreover, the unfortunate Duke of Rothesay, is said to have received in it baptism. The Royal and Drummond arms combined are quartered on the font.

Inverkeithing contains several interesting old buildings in addition to those already described. Opposite to the church is a house with a projecting turret, which formerly belonged to the Hendersons of Fordel. In one of the apartments the royal arms are carved above the chimney, and it is alleged that James II. slept there on one occasion. This house and the one adjoining it on the west had at one time been united. The tenement is not held by burgage tenure, but of the Marquis of Tweeddale, there being some similarity in that respect with the " Palace," which does not hold of the burgh but of the Crown. The town hall, situated in the street leading down from the High Street to the railway bridge, bears the date of 1770, but the projecting turret attached is certainly much older. The cross stands in the middle of the street, directly opposite to the town hall. On the right-hand side also of the same street, about half-way down, stands an old mansion known as Rosebery House, from having formerly been the town residence of the Rosebery family.

There is now included in the parish of Inverkeithing •that of Rosyth, which was formerly distinct, but was united to the former in 1636, the incumbent of Inverkeithing being taken bound to preach every third Sunday in the church of Rosyth. This last has almost entirely disappeared, though its remains, standing in its little graveyard, may still be seen on the seashore adjoining the village of Limeklns, about two miles to the west of Rosyth Castle.

in the history of the Church of Scotland Inverkeithing has gained an equivocal reputation as the scene in the middle of the last century of the forced induction of Mr Richardson as minister of the parish. For declining to take part in proceedings which they deemed to be wrong and unscviptural, certain clergymen, members of the Dunfermline Presbytery, were summoned to the bar of the General Assembly, and one of their number, Mr Gillespie, the minister of Carnock, who had been specially prominent in his opposition, was made an example of in terrorem, and deposed from his charge. The result was the formation of the Dissenting community known as the Relief Church, which about forty years ago formed a coalition with the Burgher and Antiburgher Seceders; and the combination resulting therefrom has since been known as the United Presbyterian Church. I shall have something more to say on this head when I come to speak of Mr Gillespie's parish of Carnock.

Inverkeithing is noteworthy as the birthplace, in 1735, of the celebrated Russian admiral, Samuel Greig, afterwards ennobled as Samuel Carlovich Greig, who not only acted as Commodore of the Russian fleet during the war with Turkey in 1769, and effected much towards the annexation of the Crimea, but was also the designer of the fortifications of Cronstadt, which eighty-five years afterwards proved too hard a nut for Admiral Sir Charles Napier to crack. Greig's father was a merchant captain or skipper, as well as a substantial shipowner in Inverkeithing; and the son, after going to sea in the merchant servce, passed from "f into the Royal Navy, in which he rose to the rank of lieutenant. In 17O3, in consequence of an application having been made by Russia to Britain for the loan of some officers to help her in the remodelling of her naval armaments, Greig was one of those selected to fulfil this behest. He entered the Russian navy, in which he served with the highest reputation, became an immense favourite with the Empress Catherine, and when he died in 1788, shortly after the battle of Hogeland with the Swedish fleet, he was honoured with a gorgeous State funeral. He is said to have been an admirable man in private life; and when, loaded with honours and at the height of his fame, he paid a visit to his old mother at Inverkeithing, she had the satisfaction of hearing from him that he had neither forgotten a father's instructions nor a mother's prayers. He married a Miss Charteris of Burntisland, and had two sons, one of whom, Sir Alexis Greig, commanded the Russian fleet in the Black Sea for more than twenty years; whilst the other, Samuel Greig, was also connected with the Russian navy, but settled latterly as Russian consul in London : he was the first husband of the celebrated Mrs Mary Somerville (nee Fairfax), so renowned as a natural philosopher, and who —her mother having been a Charteris—was a kinswoman of Admiral Greig's wife.

Gordon, in his 'Itinerarium Septentrionale,' in referring to battles reported to have been fought between the Scots and the Danes at Culross and at Inverkeithing, says: "At the last of these places there stands an obelisk, 10 feet abov e the surface of the earth, which, as tradition goes, was erected as a monument of that same defeat of the Danes. On this stone are engraven in low relievo several hieroglyphics which I copied on the spot." He accordingly gives, in one of the plates which illustrate his book, a delineation of the stone, on which figures of men and horses seem to be represented. But it is not a little curious that neither is there such a monument in existence now in the parish of Inverkeithing, nor can any information be procured of its having been so at any former time. There can be no reason to charge Gordon with having made any false statement, though it has been surmised that he must have meant St Margaret's Stone n the parish of Dunfermline, and 2½ miles south from that town. But no figures or inscriptions are (now at least) visible on this memorial.


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