Stirling Bridge

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Stirling Bridge ( 640x480 )
Stirling Bridge is famous because it was the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the well-known battle for Scottish independence from England. Of course the present bridge is not the one that stood there at that time. It was only a narrow wooden structure.

The Battle took place on 11 September 1297 between the English led by John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham and the Scots led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray. Rather than send his men two miles upstream to a broad ford across the River Forth, Surrey elected to attack across Stirling Bridge, which was so narrow as to permit only two men to advance at one time. Most of the men who had crossed were killed by the Scots, who must have been shaking their heads at the incredible folly of the English leaders.

The present Stirling Bridge, was designed by Robert Stevenson and opened in 1833. It lies ½ mile north of the town centre. The previous one was built around 1500 and it was the lowest bridging point over the River Forth for almost four centuries. Duties were levied on goods entering the Burgh and customs men sat in a covered booth in a recess in the middle of the bridge. In 1571 a gallows was erected on the bridge to hang Archbishop Hamilton.
In 1745, the Southernmost arch was blown up by general Blackney to prevent the Highlanders from crossing.
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