North Queensferry


North Queensferry
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

North Queensferry

A former ferry port on the River Forth, opposite South Queensferry, now located at the northern ends of the Forth Rail and Road Bridges.

The ferry crossing is said to take its name from Queen Margaret, who regularly crossed the river here travelling to and from her chapel at Edinburgh Castle. On her death in 1093 the Queen made her last crossing on the royal ferry to her final resting place at Dunfermline Abbey, which was subsequently given the ferry rights by her son David I. In mediaeval times, the route became popular with pilgrims to the shrines of St Andrew and St Margaret.

Between 1867 and 1893, the ferry crossing was controlled by the North British Railway, which built the Forth Railway Bridge (1890). Car ferries continued to operate between North and South Queensferry until 1964, when the Forth Road Bridge was opened to traffic. Its Town Pier was built by John Rennie in 1810-18 and extended for steamships by John Telfer in 1828. The Railway Pier, dating from 1877, was later used by car ferries. At the Pierhead is the Signal Tower, with its hexagonal copper-domed lantern (c.1810).

Designated a conservation area in 1984, North Queensferry is now largely a dormitory village. Its chief tourist attractions are the two bridges and the Deep-Sea World marine aquarium. Notable residents include Prime Minister Gordon Brown (b.1951) and author Iain Banks (b.1954).

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