Anglican Church of St Margaret, Rosyth
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Anglican Church of St Margaret, Rosyth

A town and dockyard complex on the S coast of Fife, west of Inverkeithing. Taking advantage of the deep, tidal water off St Margaret's Hope, the Admiralty decided in 1903 to build a naval base and dockyard here. The town of Rosyth was planned as a 'garden city' to house the workers involved in the construction and maintenance of the dockyard and naval base, which extends over 505 ha (1248 acres) of land (almost 19 ha / 48 acres of which are reclaimed), began in 1909. The first vessel to be repaired was HMS Zealandia which entered No. 1 Dock in March 1916. The immense Castlekey Fuel Storage Bunker was constructed during World War I and extended during the Second World War. It comprised 1,000,000 tonnes of reinforced concrete with a 7.5-m (25-foot) thick bomb-proof roof. Demolition began in 2008 and was still ongoing in 2013.

During the Cold War years after World War II the dockyard and its associated naval base were developed as a refitting centre for conventional and nuclear Polaris submarines as well as frigates, minesweepers, and offshore protection vessels. Government plans to refit Britain's Trident nuclear submarine fleet elsewhere and the decision to close the Royal Naval Base by April 1996 were severe blows to the future of Rosyth which had become the largest industrial site in Scotland and the largest employer of labour in Fife.

The future of the complex was secured by the dockyard's proximity to the fast-expanding high-tech and corporate business communities of Dunfermline's bridgehead area. Babcock International, which had taken over management of the facility in 1987, acquired it in 1997, making the Rosyth Royal Dockyard the first privatised naval dockyard in Britain. Decommissioned nuclear submarines are stored here.

Notable modern buildings in the town include the domestic housing on Queensferry Road (1916), the former Anglican Church of St. Margaret (1969), and St. John's Primary School (1988). Rosyth, now an important ferry port linking Scotland with Europe, has a leisure centre, library, four primary schools and additional industries such as the manufacture of drilling equipment and weighing equipment located on the Primrose and Belleknowes industrial estates.

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